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THE WEDDING SINGER presented by Northern Kentucky Theatre through Nov. 2. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening Friday performance.
As their second show of the season, NKU Theatre and Dance tackles THE WEDDING SINGER based on the 1998 film of the same name.
Noah Berry and Kathryn Miller make a cute couple and have a good, easy chemistry as Robbie Hart and Julia Sullivan . “If I Told You” and “Grow Old With You” not only sounded great, but also hit the correct emotional notes. Miller nails “Someday” and it was a favorite of the show. As a whole, the soloists did well with their numbers and the ensemble sounded strong. The number “Pop!” seemed a little off, as if the tempo was a bit fast and the singers were struggling to keep up and getting solo lines in between the lyrics.
Overall, the choreography by Tracey Bonner is energetic, well-executed and fun to watch, but I did have a few issues. The opening number, “It’s Your Wedding Day,” was very busy with many of the couples doing unique choreography at the same time. All this different movement drew focus away from Robbie during his solo. Also, across several numbers, the cast was instructed to change their stance multiple times to the beat of the music, which came off a bit repetitive. It worked best during the “puppet” section (nice concept) of “All About the Green.”
Iconic ’80s quotes such as “Where’s the beef?” and “Kiss my grits” fell a little flat. These phrases have a cadence that the actors didn’t reference in their delivery. Speaking of the ’80s, the guy’s hairstyles didn’t reflect the time period very well. Unless they were going for “the wet look” guys didn’t use hair products and mullets were very popular.
Costumes, designed by Ronnie Chamberlain, worked for the most part. I did think the celebrity lookalikes were the best I’ve seen in a production to date, and the cast did a good job of referencing those people. Fake Tina Turner taking out Glen was very funny.
The set was spartan but functional. I thought the upright bed and moving skyline were fun touches.
The biggest problem for the production was the sound execution. The orchestra sounded great and was just shy of being too loud. Thankfully the leads could be heard over them, until any backup singers came in. The ensemble seemed to be at that same volume and their voices tended to overpower the leads. I was also confused why Linda’s solo “Let Me Come Home” had reverb when it wasn’t a dream sequence. Early in the first act, there was a “chiming” noise coming from the speaker near my seat that was distracting. This wasn’t corrected for several long minutes.
Overall, congratulations to director Michael W. Hatton, the cast and crew for a fun and entertaining trip back to my high school years.
My rating: 4.0 out of 5
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