“The Wedding Singer” was a film ahead of its time. Released in 1998, the romantic comedy led by Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore took place in the 1980s, making fun of and lamenting a decade that wasn’t far removed from its theatric release. Since then, it seems many are nostalgic for the decade’s music, clothes and pop culture. All these elements make for a fun Broadway show.
The Narrows Community Theater is bringing the musical iteration of “The Wedding Singer” to the Fort Hamilton Army Post Theater.
Director and choreographer Michael Chase Gosselin and cast have been hard at work at rehearsal, prepping for the show. “It’s been really hard since it’s a big production with lots of dancing, movement and scenery,” he said. “It’s a large undertaking, but the cast has worked really hard to put it all together. We are embracing the humor of show by creating fun characters. It’s an energetic show and audiences will have great time.”
The show’s actors are key to any production and Gosselin is thrilled with the aspect of the show. “We have a fantastic cast,” Gosselin said. “Robbie (played by Max Baudisch) and Julia (Kristen Antonelle) have an amazing connection. The show does a great job presenting a love story in a way that you feel invested in without it being sappy or forced.”
The contrast of the characters is what Gosselin thinks makes the romantic plot feel believable.
“One of things I love most about it is that the two need exactly what the other one has,” he explained. “Julia needs to relax and not be focused on what her mother wants, which is a set life. For Robbie, he needs to grow up a bit. They balance each other perfectly. And they’re friends before they fall in love. It’s relatable and very moving.”
The production attempts to please fans of the original film while making it fun for those who have never seen it. “The show has done a very good job in what movie is well known for. Some of the same songs from the movie are in the show, along with ones from the musical. There are hidden references to scenes that people who know the movie will appreciate,” Gosselin said. “At same time, it works as a musical. The thing that works so well is that it’s about someone who sings about the situation, which translates well into theater.”
Although the movie came out nearly 20 years ago, it remains popular among audiences, which is why NCT decided to present the show. “People look at the ‘80s with fondness. It’s easy to chuckle at. It’s a love story everyone can feel could happen in their life. It takes place in New Jersey. People can relate to that.”
Because it’s a theatrical production, one of the director’s favorite aspects of the show is that every actor has his or her moment. “The audience will leave knowing all characters,” he said. “They all have a chance to shine. They’ve been more fleshed out in the musical.”
“The Wedding Singer” will have performances on Friday, May 8 and Saturday May 9 at 8 p.m. as well as Sunday, May 10 at 2 p.m. It will be held at the Fort Hamilton Army Base Theater, 403 General Lee Avenue. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students under 21. For tickets, call 718-482-3173 or visit www.narrowscommunitytheater.com. Government-issued ID is required to admission to the base.