"The Wedding Singer," national tour, through Dec. 13, Kingsbury Hall (801-581-7100); running time: 2 hours 15 minutes (one intermission)
With flurries of peach and teal, plenty of off-the-shoulder shirts, some mullets and a few skinny piano ties for effect, the national tour of "The Wedding Singer" has arrived at Kingsbury Hall.
The musical is based on the 1998 movie of the same name (starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore), but it features original music, done in the style of the '80s (think synthesizer).
Though hardly a groundbreaking piece of theater, if you're not expecting too much, it's a fun, campy night of '80s nostalgia.
But this national tour doesn't quite hit all the pop-style notes it intends to — some of that may be the script and some of that may be the direction.
The script has a tendency to browbeat the decade into your brain. If for one second you, foolishly, forgot the decade, either the '80s-lyrics-as-dialgoue or the obvious references to '80s paraphernalia will quickly remind you.
I would prefer a more subtle, nuanced approach, letting the audience snicker to ourselves as we discover the '80s-isms. It just feels more like force-feeding, like we're not going to get the joke.
Ditto many of the other ongoing jokes. For instance, Robbie's sex-crazed Grandma. I wanted to shout, "We get it!" It eels like overkill to have every line referencing her "special time" with grandpa.
This production, directed by M. Seth Reines (Prather Entertainment Group) feels a bit sloppy and not cohesive.
Some actors were so over-the-top it was more like watching a caricature … or a farce. The accents were random (one Southern-ish, one Jersey-esque and quite a few in between), and the dance moves and comedic timing just weren't as solid as they should be.
It feels more like a great semiprofessional production than a solid professional offering.
In the lead roles of Robbie and Julia are real-life couple J. Michael and Jillian Zygo. They offer two of the more natural performances of the night, and you will find yourself pulling for the duo.
If you remember the '80s with a smile on your face, you'll likely still get a kick out of the movie-turned-musical. The costumes are perfection, the hairdos are fun, and I loved the dance moves. The audience laughed appreciatively at many of the references and glimpses at how far we've come.
A lot of it is a lot of fun. A trip down memory lane can always be enjoyable. I just would have preferred being led down that path rather than shoved.
Sensitivity rating: Sexual references and gestures, mild swearing.
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