The Column Best in DFW Theater 2016

 

 

 

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THE WEDDING SINGER THE WEDDING SINGER
by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy

Theatre Three

CREW:
Director - Bruce R. Coleman
AEA Stage Manager – Nicolas E. Castanon
Music Director – Mark Mullino
Choreographer – Kelly McCain
Lighting Design – Clayton Van Winkle
Scenic Design – David Walsh

CAST:
Mikey Abrams – Ensemble/Reagan
Tyler Jeffrey Adams – Ensemble/Billy Idol
Dominique Brinkley – Ensemble/Tina Turner
Nikki Cloer – Holly
Cameron Cobb – Robbie Hart
Alex Heika – George
Quintin Jones – Ensemble/Mr. T
Lois Leftwich – Rosie/Angie
Jacob Lewis – Glen Guglia
Gregory Lush – Sammy
Taylor Nash – Ensemble/Cyndi Lauper
Samantha Padilla – Linda
Mark Quach – Ensemble/Imelda Marcos
Shannon Walsh – Ensemble/Nancy Reagan
Katie Moyes Williams – Julia Sullivan

THE WEDDING SINGERTHE WEDDING SINGERTHE WEDDING SINGERTHE WEDDING SINGERTHE WEDDING SINGERTHE WEDDING SINGER






Reviewed Performance 9/26/2016

Reviewed by Scott Hazard, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

Friendliness counts in today’s world. Whether you’re at a restaurant, the dry cleaner or anywhere else, a warm, friendly greeting is important. The people at Theatre Three apparently believe that too, because that is just what my wife and I got last night when we went to see THE WEDDING SINGER, a genuinely-warm greeting upon walking in the door.

The show matched the greeting we received in its warmth. Based on the 1998 film, this show features music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and a script by Beguelin and Tim Herlihy. Beguelin and Herlihy are crafty in their usage of 80s song titles and other 80s themes throughout this play, making it a trip down memory lane for those of us who lived through the decade of hair.

THE WEDDING SINGER is a story about Robbie Hart, a wanna-be rock star who seems to be settling for a career as a wedding performer. Robbie experiences a “moment” when he meets Julia Sullivan, a waitress for the caterer. From that moment, the story takes on a singular focus to get the two together, but a diverse and highly entertaining ensemble and cast of supporting characters make this journey anything but normal.

Robbie Hart, played by Cameron Cobb, goes through several transformations on his way to the end of this story and Cobb’s portrayal of him brings to life the texture of this character. Cobb is believable in this role and you just can’t help but pull for Robbie Hart as he traverses the obstacles and bad decisions he makes on his way to getting what he ultimately wants.

Julia Sullivan, played by Katie Moyes Williams, is the love interest of Robbie. Julia gets engaged just about the time that Robbie “discovers” her, only adding to the list of things that Robbie must do to accomplish his mission. Katie Moyes Williams is memorable in her portrayal of Julia and her vocal ability is clearly amazing.

In so many plays, the supporting cast and the ensemble work to set up the leads, be it a setup for a comedic or dramatic bit. This script seems a bit different in that the leads seem to set up the supporting cast for some hilarious moments. The ensemble in this show will keep you in stitches throughout the show.

Sammy and George, Robbie’s bandmates, played by Gregory Lush and Alex Heika, are brilliant. Lush and Heika are hilarious in their roles without taking it too far, teetering on the edge of over-the-top without actually going there. Well played!

The ensemble, made up of Mikey Abrams, Tyler Jeffrey Adams, Dominique Brinkley, Quintin Jones, Taylor Nash, Mark Quach and Shannon Walsh are what make this show hilarious. I mean no slight to any of the other performances by saying that, but the moments when the action has to be held for laughter all center around this cast of characters, with the entrance of Mark Quach as Imelda Marcos being the pinnacle of those moments. I can’t remember when I’ve seen a cast have to hold for as long as they did at that moment. With one line, Quach brings the audience to their knees with laughter.

Musical Director, Mark Mullino, assembled a solid collection of musicians for this show. The music is well done without overpowering the space with sound, as was the case so often with 80s bands.

Lighting a show in the round is tricky, as is staging in the round. Playing to 360 degrees of audience requires thought and experience in staging. Director, Bruce R. Coleman brought all of the elements, staging, lighting and all technical elements together in a way that seemed to highlight each scene and play equally to all patrons in the house.

The choreography in this show is excellent. Choreographer, Kelly McCain, did a great job on the dance numbers, staying true to the era and tapping in to the ability of the cast to stay together, in time, while still maintaining the mood necessary to keep a natural feel to the dance numbers.

Overall, this is a very entertaining show. This play makes no attempt to solve pressing societal issues, but sometimes it’s just about having fun and this show is just that… fun! There isn’t a bad seat in the house for THE WEDDING SINGER. The set utilizes the available space perfectly.

THE WEDDING SINGER at Theatre Three is a good time at the theatre. You will leave feeling happy and possibly with your side hurting just a bit from laughing.




THE WEDDING SINGER
Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St, Unit 168, Dallas TX 75201
Show runs through October 16

Thursdays – 7:30 PM
Fridays & Saturdays – 8:00 PM
Sundays – 2:30 PM
Hooky Matinee – Wednesday, October 5 at 2:30 PM
Saturday Matinee – October 15 at 2:30 PM

Tickets are $35, $32 for seniors and $17.50 for students
Visit www.TheatreThreeDallas.com or call (214) 871-3300
www.facebook.com/theatre3dallas