A Blast from the Past at Playcrafters’ THE WEDDING SINGER

by Kelly Thunstrom

Steve Carrasco (Robbie) and Rachel Canelli (Julia) in a scene from THE WEDDING SINGER at Playcrafters of Skippack. (Photo credit: Gay Hoyle)

For those of you nostalgic for times gone by (CD players that cost $900, Billy Idol, and “cellular” phones that are the size of your head), this production of THE WEDDING SINGER is the cure-all for that. Consistently producing some of the best theater in the area, Playcrafters of Skippack offers the breezy and fun THE WEDDING SINGER for summer 2012.

Based on the movie of the same name, starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, it takes place in New Jersey in 1985 (you can just imagine the hair). The plot really doesn’t matter. If you look away for 15 minutes and then come back to it, you won’t miss any key story points. Boy gets dumped at the altar, girl gets engaged to a man she doesn’t love, a series of misunderstandings ensue, and then boy and girl live happily ever after (Believe me, you could have figured out the ending from the first scene, so I’m giving nothing away).  So if you’re expecting some intricate, thought-out plot, well…you should still go!

Will Scantling (George), Steve Carrasco (Robbie), and Brent Anders (Sammy) star in Playcrafters of Skippack’s summer hit, THE WEDDING SINGER. (Photo credit: Gay Hoyle)

THE WEDDING SINGER is just pure and simple fun. The audience loved it and was laughing uproariously. Steve Carrasco (Robbie), Brent Anders (Sammy), and Will Scantling (George) could not have been funnier as “the wedding band.” Carrasco was completely believable as an 80s wedding singer trying to make something of himself. His voice reverberated in the barn like so many 80s voices did.  “Somebody Kill Me” showcases his talents, where he keeps changing the song from pathetic to angry. His wedding speech to a couple right after he gets dumped is hysterical. I’m not sure how many other actors could have played Robbie as well as Carrasco.  Anders, with his Flock of Seagulls hair, and Scantling (in hot-pink, heeled boots, no less), play their roles to the hilt. All three actors look like they’re having a ball, knowing that they look ridiculous (I think we all did in the 80s), but letting the audience in on the fun. All 5-member boy bands need to take note of “Single” for some good ideas.

Steve Carrasco (Robbie) and Laura Watson (Holly) in Playcrafters of Skippack’s THE WEDDING SINGER, running in Skippack, PA through July 28. (Photo credit: Gay Hoyle)

Rachel Canelli gives a lovely performance as Julia (oh no…don’t let her last name be Gulia!). Her beautiful voice really shows in “If I Told You”. Donna Cockenberg, as Rosie, could not have been more perfect in her duet with George in “Move That Thang”. The audience simply loved her. The other members of the supporting cast, Laura Watson (Holly), Matt Bookler (Glen), Maddie Bender (Linda), and Lori Maxwell (Angie), milk their roles to no end. The ensemble cast, Paul Bonner, Emily Brennan, Michael Dinnella, Christine Irizarry, Rebecca Knorr, Tyler McMaster, and Rachel Nicoletti, have no easy time of it, as they play multiple roles with multiple costume changes. They pull it off beautifully.

If you go to THE WEDDING SINGER (which you should), expect a great time, tons of big hair, and a lot of knowing laughs (“Who would ever pay $3.00 for a cup of coffee?”).

by Chad Beguelin, Tim Herlihy, and Matthew Sklar
Directed by Brian Shapella
July 12 –28, 2012
Playcrafters of Skippack
2011 Store Road
Skippack, PA

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