Robbie and Julia

John Robyns as Robbie and Cassie Compton as Julia  Picture: Darren Bell

The Wedding singer

The New Alexandra Theatre


Back in the late 90s, it seemed that every other rom-com movie had either been written by or starred Adam Sandler.

In practically all of them, Sandler was the inoffensive character who always, in the end, seemed to get that one special girl.

The Wedding Singer was one such movie. A poor musician, Robbie Hart with dreams of the big time, is financially surviving with his band, entertaining guests at weddings.  He meets a waitress Julia Sullivan at a gig on the eve of his own wedding day. Miss Sullivan in turn has a successful, money obsessed boyfriend Glen.

Although prone to being unfaithful Glen proposes to her, but after Robbie gets jilted at the altar, he and Julia spiral towards one another and an inevitable romance.

The plot is nothing new and the films success was largely down to Sandler’s popularity and the great 80’s original pop soundtrack.

However for the musical that has been abandoned, replacing it with original works by Matthew Skylar and Chad Beguelin. It’s fair to say that most are sound-alike 80’s tunes with a musical theatre twist. Considering all of this then on paper it shouldn’t work, but somehow it all does.


The Wedding singer is that strange animal whereby when it’s done this well you simply cannot help liking it. You may not know any of the songs but the good ones like the odd  Come out of the Dumpster are delivered so well by Cassie Compton as Julia, that her skill and pitch perfect vocal ability elevate them to real class.

She may be more widely known for her being a finalist in the 2006 X Factor TV show but her musical theatre experience is massively varied for just being 27 years of age and she so makes every song she sings her own.

Jon Robyn’s equally has an impressive musical theatre career and also demonstrated his command of the role as Robbie Hart. He is very likable and delivered an impressive performance especially in the slower numbers like If I told you.

However it’s not only about the leads, some of the high spots are the full on high energy ensemble numbers such as All about the Green, which feature another X Factor finalist Ray Quinn as Glen Gulia. This was typical of some of the big stage numbers throughout with great choreography, lighting and some clever work with a star cloth backdrop that was programmed to change to display graphics that supported every scene.

Ruth Madoc was Rosie, Robbie’s Grandma, and proved to the campers she can still hold a tune, although her rap abilities were a little shaky as were her dancing skills. The latter though was rescued with a funny stint of a body double as Rosie who somersaulted and break danced across the stage.

There was good support too in the form of Ashley Emerson as Sammy, Hannah Jay Allan as Linda and Tara Verloop as Holly. Samuel Holmes took on the role of George with more than a visual nod to Boy George and delivering a fair amount of the pink humour.

Musical Director Sean Green and his band sounded great, and all in all the production, directed and beautifully choreographed by Nick Winston developed its own gravity field that pulls you in as the show goes on. That’s thanks mainly to some fine individual performances of some less than engaging songs and the powerful ensemble pieces that make The Wedding singer just great all round entertainment. To 27-05-17.

Jeff Grant


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