‘The Wedding Singer’ Coming to Barnegat High School

Mar 20, 2018


Barnegat High School’s Bengal Theatre Company will perform its spring musical, “The Wedding Singer,” on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 22, 23 and 24 at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, March 25 at 2 p.m.

Well, hopefully it will open Thursday – weather permitting.

Anyone who has ever been involved in a musical knows the final days before opening night are already rushed and confused enough as the different elements of a production – acting, music, set construction, costume building, lights, sound, props, etc. – are pieced together. Toss in bad weather and it is easy to see how directors, performers and technicians could be tearing their hair out of their heads as the curtain is about to rise.

Most people haven’t been involved with a musical production. Many more have been involved in a wedding. And, as in theatrical productions, nerves can begin to fray as carefully designed plans begin to unravel as the big day approaches. The weddings in “The Wedding Singer” certainly have their complications.

Robbie Hart (Thomas Krey) is a wedding singer. As the show opens he and his band mates Sammy (Demetrius Stamoulis) and George (Christopher Wambach) are playing a gig. As Robbie maneuvers through the crowd at the wedding he meets a waitress, Julia Sullivan (Liz Critelli). A spark seems to fly but, nah, that can’t be, right, because Robbie has already announced that his very own wedding will take place the next day.

Well, Robbie’s intended, Linda (Franchesca Lamberty), dumps him at the altar. She wants to be married to a rock star, not a wedding singer who, by the way, lives with his grandmother Rosie (Juliana Shugar).

That evening Julia has dinner with her Wall Street boyfriend Glen Guglia (Geoffrey Bowen). He proposes, and considering that is something Julia has been eagerly awaiting, she accepts.

Robbie goes into a deep depression. At his next gig he is so angry he enrages the wedding party and guests, so much so that the groom and the guests toss him into a garbage dumpster.

Meanwhile, Robbie and Julia have become friends. She convinces him to pick himself up in the song “Come Out of the Dumpster” and he returns to singing, although he now specializes in bar mitzvahs.

Robbie and Julia go to a mall (hey, the show is based in New Jersey) so she can register for her wedding. They run into Julia’s cousin and best friend Holly (Victoria Wallace), who says Julia should practice her wedding kiss. Robbie and Julia do so. That aforementioned spark lights a fire!

Holly decides she wants to go out with Robbie. Julia, avoiding her feelings for Robbie, agrees. So later that night the trio, along with Sammy, George and Glen, go to a New York City club. Robbie figures out that Glen is a cheater. Robbie also figures out he’s in love with Julia.

Alas, Holly tells Robbie that Julia wants to marry Glen for money and security.

“Well,” says Robbie, “I’m in big trouble then. But maybe I could change.”

He tries to, even going to the length of visiting Glen at his office to get a job on Wall Street so he can impress Julia.

In the meantime, subplots develop. Sammy is attracted to Holly, who at first at least, isn’t interested. Julia develops doubts about marrying Glen but her mother Angie (Jillian Bopp) says Glen is the man for her and warns her about leaving him for a mere wedding singer. Linda reappears in Robbie’s life, actually in his bed. Julia finally realizes it is Robbie she loves and goes to his house to tell him, only to discover Linda. Oh boy!

Will everything ever get straightened out? Hey, this is a musical, of course it will. But it will require a trip to Nevada and the help of a bunch of Vegas impersonators such as Billy Idol, Mr. T, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper, Imelda Marcos and Ronald and Nancy Reagan (the show is set in the 1980s) to do so.

The show is somewhat goofy and features a lovable loser who turns into a winner. Which makes sense considering it is based on the 1998 movie of the same name that starred one of the kings of playing goofy lovable losers that turn into winners in Adam Sandler, along with Drew Barrymore.

Tickets for “The Wedding Singer” are $10 for adults and $8 for students and adults. They may be purchased online at bengaltheatre.com or at the door (cash only for the latter).

Folks who plan on attending Thursday night’s opening performance should visit barnegatschools.com to make sure it hasn’t been canceled. If it is there is a possibility an additional matinee performance will be added for 2 p.m. on Saturday.

— Rick Mellerup




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