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Review: THE WEDDING SINGER at Town Hall Arts Center

Now through June 26

Review: THE WEDDING SINGER at Town Hall Arts Center What's better than a '90s romantic comedy set in the mid 80's? Maybe if it's a musical too.

Based on the 1998 Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore rom-com, The Wedding Singer scratches your itch for a satisfying combo of campy characters and a love story. If you're unfamiliar with the movie plot, it's 1985 and wedding singer Robbie (Damon Guerrasio) is left at the altar by his fiance. At work, he ends up falling for waitress Julia (Lynzee Jones), who's waiting for her undeserving material boyfriend to propose. You can guess what happens, but you've gotta love the comfort of predictability.

Town Hall Arts Center's production, directed and choreographed by Nick Sugar, is a vibrantly nostalgic time capsule, filled with pretty much everything you love about the 80s. His energetic choreo is almost a constant, and each number has something different to offer. It's a visual treat for sure, but even more so it's stacked with a bunch of excellent performances.

Review: THE WEDDING SINGER at Town Hall Arts Center Guerrasio and Jones both have their own brand of authentic charm, allowing their chemistry to rival that of Sandler and Barrymore. Thankfully, too, they're not just infusing impressions into their portrayals. Guerrasio's charisma feels effortless and peppers Robbie with grounded cynicism. Jones's Julia is far more saccharine than you remember her from the film, yet she doesn't get allow her to be boxed in as an ingenue.

Julia's coworker cousin Holly (Kelsey Rich) has all the vibes of a Madonna wannabe about to put on a concert in a shopping mall, just wait for her Flashdance moment. Julia's fiance Glen (Logan Traver) is played as a womanizing wall street douchebag, who's completely undesirable if it wasn't for Traver's perfectly self-aware comedic timing. Boy Georgian bandmate George (Gibran Mahmud) gives you no choice but to be a little obsessed with him, even if it's just for his clarinet skills alone. Also rounding out the band is Sammy (Mike Martinkus), whose just as funny as the wigs they put him in.

Review: THE WEDDING SINGER at Town Hall Arts Center Two of my favorite performances were Robbie's ex-bride Linda (Krystle Schaub), who pounced onto the stage with authentic rockstar energy; and his grandma Rosie (Annie Dwyer), who can't help but comedically steal every scene she's in.

It seemed like the cast was mostly playing their own instruments too, which is always a welcome treat.

Scenic design by Douglas Clarke cleverly utilizes Town Hall's intimate space to make it feel spacious enough to be a wedding venue. It's fun to watch how it transforms into each scene without overcomplicating things. Brett Maughan's lighting design gives the show a lot of vibrancy, putting you right back in 1985 (or I guess what they imagine it like in the movies).

And who doesn't want to hang out in the 80s just one more time?

Town Hall's The Wedding Singer plays through June 26

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From This Author - Chris Arneson