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BWW 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!

BWW 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.

BWW 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.

BWW 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 weddingsingermusical.com.au

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

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