(Photo courtesy Lisa Scarsi)
Written by Alina Mae Wilson
I’ve given it some real consideration, and I think everyone should try to see a comedy semi-regularly –something fun and lighthearted. If it’s a musical then go ahead and consider that a bonus. The world is overflowing with dark and edgy stories about tragedy and pain, so for gosh sake LIGHTEN UP! One way to do that would be to see the Gem Theater’s current production of The Wedding Singer.
Full disclosure, I have not seen the cinematic film that inspired the musical. As such I cannot tell you whether or not one was better than the other. I CAN tell you this is a fun show about a man and woman who aren’t romantically involved but should be. She’s a waitress named Julia; he’s a weddings singer (THE wedding singer) named Robbie. Their respective partners kind of suck. Will they end up married to people who are completely wrong for them, or will true love blossom from what was once an innocent friendship? More importantly, will there be bright, catchy eighties music for you to jam along to? The answer to this particular question is yes.
The audience was informed before the show that the theater spent a lot of money on the lights, and boy do they get their money’s worth. The bright multi-colored lights definitely succeed in giving the show the distinctive, eighties music video feel they seem to be going for. While one gets blinded every once in a while (people sensitive to strobe lights beware) the flashing and/or shifting colors generally serve to set the scene or signify an appropriate change in mood. It’s memorable and keeps your attention on the players and their eighties attire, which were never going to be attractive cause it’s the eighties. Therefore, the highest praise they can hope to earn is that the clothes look authentic, and they do.
This is not a substantive show. It’s fun; it’s funny, but the fun would be diminished if the performers weren’t rocking it with all their might.
I don’t know how Hannah Clair could be better as Julia. With her distinctly DJ Tanner vibes (Full House reference) and her strong voice, she comes off as sweet and kind without being annoying. It’s a pleasure to listen and watch her. Brianna Garmon rocked it out as Linda. Her throaty, lust filled voice and brightly dyed hair help establish why she possesses complete control over Robbie’s (played sweetly by Edgar Andrew Torrens) heart.
If you want depth and drama this is not the show to see. However, if you want a brightly lit evening with some chuckles and good singers, then by all means, head on over to the Gem Theater in Garden Grove to see The Wedding Singer.
June 29 – July 23, 2017
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