The stage is opened with the cinematic flare of the location title on the curtain. The curtains are drawn back to reveal Robbie Hart (Stephen Lynch) showering backed by a drop of the brightest neon the Eighties could provide.
The Pre-Broadway Engagement of The Wedding Singer is an extremely entertaining show. The poor but talented wedding singer, Robbie Hart, and his band can bring joy to any newlywed couple's joyous day. Unfortunately, Robbie loses his love when his fiance stands him up at the alter. To add insult to injury, Julia Sullivan, a waitress and potential love interest, is just waiting on a proposal from her Stock Market tycoon boyfriend, Glen Guglia. When Glen finally asks Julia's hand in marriage, it shatters the hopes of the love-deprived Hart. However, with the help of Billy Idol, Tina Turner, Mr. T and President Reagan, Robbie lets loose his love to overshadow the cheating Glen Guglia.
Stephen Lynch was made for his role as Robbie. The chemistry between Lynch and Laura Benati (Julia) was simply breathtaking. Though the acting was slightly spotty at times, the majority of the performance was wonderful. Adinah Alexander (Grandma Angie) was undeniably hilarious in her telling of the eight (give or take) men before marriage while Felicia Finley (Linda) could not have embodied the Eighties more if she'd been asleep since '86.
With the Tony Award-winning team of designers, this show could not go wrong. Scott Pask has certainly proven his genius with the phenomenal sets and scenes. With a mixture of high-tech, low-tech and occasionally no-tech an audience member can easily get completely drawn into the world that is created. It seems that Gregory Gale may be responsible for the fashion of the Eighties originally given his precision in costuming. The tear-away's and add-on's absolutely made the wardrobe. Of course, where would any production be without a director, especially one as talented and accomplished as John Rando. Once again, a triumph to be recognized for years!
The combination of the original soundtrack of The Wedding Singer's 1998 film debut and the additional score from Matthew Sklar and Irwin Fisch was astonishingly well-compiled. Though at times the songs felt somewhat repetitive, it only added - if anything - to reminiscing back to those glorious days of neon and flock of seagulls haircuts... :)