Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: THE WEDDING SINGER at Athenaeum Theatre

If you liked the movie The Wedding Singer ... you will fall head over heels in love with the musical!

Review: THE WEDDING SINGER at Athenaeum Theatre
Christian Charisiou, Teagan Wouters
Photo by Nicole Cleary

David Venn Enterprises Australian tour of The Wedding Singer is perfect for 2021... wowing with energy and fun, as well as featuring some great songs like "It's Your Wedding Day" and "Saturday Night in the City". If you love anything '80s related, and let's face it who doesn't, The Wedding Singer is the perfect musical for you. With music by Matthew Sklar (The Prom and Elf the Musical), book by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy, and lyrics by Chad Beguelin, The Wedding Singer premiered on Broadway in 2006 and was nominated for a Tony award for best musical.

Based on the 1998 film of the same name, starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, The Wedding Singer actually seems better suited to a musical, with Beguelin and Herlihy's book giving more substance to supporting characters and making some effective minor tweaks to the story. In this production Nathan Weyer's set design fits the Athenaeum Theatre like a glove and is successfully versatile in bringing the many scene locations to life. Declan O'Neill's fabulously bold and bright lighting design really brings the '80s feel to The Wedding Singer and Kim Bishop's costume design is deliciously camp and fun.

Alister Smith's direction is slick and effective in telling The Wedding Singer's story and Daniel Puckey's musical direction blissfully brings all the fantastic '80s synthesized sounds to life. Michael Ralph's choreography is simply miraculous, remarkable and a true highlight of The Wedding Singer. He brings sheer joy, energy, fun, creativity and originality to his choreography, with his '80s referencing being remarkably clever and entertaining to watch.

Review: THE WEDDING SINGER at Athenaeum Theatre
Christian Charisiou, Ed Deganos & Haydan Hawkins
Photo by Nicole Cleary

In this cast there is no 'weakest link' to say 'goodbye' to, with everyone expelling energy and general excellence from start to finish. Australia has found new musical theatre royalty in leading man Christian Charisiou who brings comedy, fantastic rock vocals, real heart and just genuine star quality to his performance as the wedding singer, Robbie Hart. Charisiou carries the entire show on his shoulders with ease, bringing a fresh and authentic interpretation to the iconic role. Supporting Charisiou as wedding band wingman, Ed Deganos as George brings genuine likeability and Haydan Hawkins is strong and charismatic as Sammy. Stephen Mahy adds dimension and substance to Glen Guglia.

Teagan Wouters is stunning as Julia Sullivan and her vocals are simply sublime. Nadia Komazec shines brightly as Holly, a role that almost feels like it was written for her to perform, really wowing in "Saturday Night in the City". Hollie James shows her skill as a character actor as Angie and her many other bit part roles (all of which she nails), Susan-Ann Walker is wonderful as Rosie and Kirby Burgess nearly steals the show with her phenomenal vocals and dancing, in her brief, but memorable appearance as Robbie's ex-girlfriend Linda.

Review: THE WEDDING SINGER at Athenaeum Theatre
Nadia Komazec
Photo by Nicole Cleary

The ensemble of Katrina Bickerton, Annie Chiswell, Simon Fairweather, Luke Haberecht, Jerome Javier, Sebastian Johnston, Connor Morel, Max Patterson, Brittany Page, Asmara Soekotjo and Romy Vuksan provide a strong backbone of energy and enthusiasm to The Wedding Singer, executing Ralph's choreography with sharp precision and bringing personality to the many minor characters they portray through 'zillions' of costume and wig changes!

The Wedding Singer is on at Athenaeum Theatre until the 5th of June, before touring to the Gold Coast and Sydney. For more information and to get tickets visit

Review: THE WEDDING SINGER at Athenaeum Theatre
Photo by Nicole Cleary

Related Articles View More Australia - Melbourne Stories

From This Author - Josh Stent

Josh has had a passion and love for the Arts ever since his mother took him to his first musical The Secret Garden at Age 5! After graduating The McDonald College of Performing Arts he went on to train... (read more about this author)

Review: SIX THE MUSICAL at Comedy Theatre
June 26, 2022

SIX the Musical is a must see this winter in Melbourne. Short and sweet at only 75-minutes long, SIX will have you jamming in your seat, while listening to the six wives of Henry VIII tell their side of the story, as a reimagined pop girl group!

May 30, 2022

A perfect musical for the family this winter, with Cinderella’s costume transformations being truly magical! 4 STARS. Read our BWW critic's review.

BWW Interview: Darkfield Producer Nathan Alexander
May 23, 2022

Melbourne, prepare to be thrilled and put on edge at Darkfield! Incorporating four different immersive theatre experiences you will be taken on a spine-chilling journey in complete darkness, using multi-sensory audio.

BWW Review: NEXT TO NORMAL at Chapel Off Chapel
March 20, 2022

Originally premiering on Broadway in 2009, Next to Normal was nominated for 11 Tony Awards of which it won three, including for Best Original Score. It was also awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, an award that only ten musicals have received in the 105-year history of The Pulitzer Prizes.

BWW Interview: Glenn Elston OAM on PETER QUINCE PRESENTS: A MIDSUMMER MECHANICAL'S DREAM at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
March 6, 2022

Given the current devasting world events, A Midsummer Mechanical's Dream sounds like the perfect show to take our minds of what is happening. The fact that you can watch it in Melbourne's Royal Botanical Gardens as the sun sets and the stars come out, is the cherry on the top.