GLT Datebook: 'Wedding Singer' Makes A Lively Leap To The Stage | WGLT

GLT Datebook: 'Wedding Singer' Makes A Lively Leap To The Stage

Mar 8, 2019

Community Players cordially invites you to attend a musical that unites Hollywood and Broadway, throwing in a heavy dose of nostalgia for good measure and good times.

Here's your chance to break out the double denim and scrunchies and go totally tubular with the 80s all over again. "The Wedding Singer" opens this weekend and runs through March 24 at Community Players Theatre in Bloomington. The high-energy musical is based on the hit film starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. If you've seen the film, said director Brett Cottone, you know what's in store for you in the musical.

"A guy—Robbie—whose engagement is broken, falls in love with a woman who is recently engaged. Being a wedding singer is his full-time gig. It's just the story of him slowly figuring out what to do. And the girl, Julia, is struggling with the same problem. So you've got the same main plotline. It's incredibly charming and sweet and romantic."

Actor Samuel James Willis is Robbie.

"When I listened to the music, I absolutely connected with Robbie," Willis revealed. "I've definately been on a similar journey. I think I have all my ducks in a row and at the last possible moment, everything gets yanked out from under me and I have to figure out where I go from there."

"The Wedding Singer" was one of actress Emily Ohmart's favorite films growing up, so she was delighted to tackle the role of Julia.

"I loved the story. And when I had a chance to listen to the soundtrack, what I loved was the fact that the songs are very clever and that there's so much high-energy music in this show. It's a blast to be a part of this show."

And yes, the Rapping Granny will put in an appearance.

"You can't do the show without the rapping granny," Cottone laughed. "She gets a show-stopping 11th hour number."

"The Wedding Singer" is part of a big ongoing trend of Hollywood movies turning into Broadway shows.

"You look at everything going up on the boards on Broadway right now, at least half of them are movie adaptations," said Cottone. "It's kind of a blessing and a curse. You have to find new, creative ways to get people in the door. And for people who are not necessarily theater types, they see the movie and they know the story. So there's that hook. You need that hook. At the same time, you lose a lot of the original stories that get told as musicals."

"One thing that's difficult to do now, if you are doing a transition from movie to stage, is creating music that's not put in there just for the sake of sticking in a musical number at a certain point," said Willis. "And the thing that this musical does so well is that it's such a seemless flow from regular dialog into the musical number. It works so well within itself."

"The Wedding Singer" is part of yet another trend: nostagia.

"This is a harmless look back at a lot of the sillier things about the '80s," Cottone said with a laugh. "It looks back at why it was such a fun decade and some of the horrible fashion and the choices there. Some of my childhood photos are like 'Where did that haircut come from?' It's just a fun, nostalgic look back on the era."

"The Wedding Singer" runs through March 24 at Community Players Theatre in Bloomington. Cottone added that while the show is fun for the family, due to some coarse language, consider it rated PG-13.

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