The Wedding Singer at the Liverpool Empire Review

30 May to 3 June 2017

Reviewed by Jan Mellor

The Wedding singer was the stage production of the hit movie from 1997 of the same name. It is a romantic comedy depicting the life of a jilted singer in the 1980’s who’s life and career is to sing at other people’s weddings. The original film was the work of US actors Adam Sandler and Tim Herlihy and was immersed with 80’s iconic hits including Madonna, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Boy George and the Thompson Twins. The audience are welcomed into this era as they enter the auditorium by a screen showing the hit films of the time – “Desperately Seeking Susan” (Madonna), “Rambo”, ”Weird Science” and “Back to the Future” (which links the year 2017 to 1985) and back to the times of ‘Glam Rock’ mullet hairstyles, and Michael Jackson Gloves . The stage play does not use the pop songs of the 80’s but with the score by Matthew Sklar and Lyrics by Chad Beguelin – it captures the true essence of the heartbreak of the cast, the irony of the story and the 80’s ‘sound’ perfectly.  The great songs link the scenes of the singer Robbie being jilted by his girl Linda at the alter, Julia being proposed to by her love -interest (the despicable cad) Glen and Robbie’s gran spurring him on in her own unique way. As the story and great choreography unfold Robbie realises that Linda is not for him, Julia that Glen is not for her and that the two friends are actually in love. The audience loved it and the fast pace, impeccable timing and great dance moves, comical and raunchy scenes and fabulous songs including – ‘Awesome’, ‘Casualties of love’, ‘Stay single’ and ‘Grow old with you’ – kept the energy alive throughout. It was obvious how it was going to end but it was a joy to see how the two ‘lovebirds’ made it through their tempestuous relationships to find each other.

For those that loved the film you will love this stage production. Although 80’s hits are not used the score fits perfectly into the 80’s era. There were some great dance scenes with impeccable timing, strong voices from the cast and moments of delight (the bar scene was my favourite – when 8 guys sing about the joys of staying single whilst all the time yearning to be with a partner). It didn’t quite hit the 5/5 for me – but I haven’t seen the film – however still an enjoyable evening was had by all.

Great entertainment!

Rating: 4/5

Tickets cost from £12 to £54.50 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).

The Wedding Singer is at the Liverpool Empire from 30 May to 3 June 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/liverpool or call the box office on 0844 8713017.

Liverpool Empire Theatre, Lime Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JE | 0844 8713017

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