Arts musical review

Save a date for ‘The Wedding Singer’

A toast to the latest production from MIT’s Musical Theatre Guild

9304 weddingsinger
Robbie (Diego Barea '20) sings a song for Julia (Carrie Fowle '18).
Andras Szep

The Wedding Singer
Written by Tim Herlihy
Directed by Geoff Hegg ’16
La Sala de Puerto Rico
Jan. 31​–Feb. 1, Feb. 6​–7 at 8 p.m.
Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. and Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.

It’s the 1980s. Mullets and Ronald Reagan are trending, New Coke is about to be born, and wedding singer Robbie Hart (Diego Barea ’20) just got left at the altar by his ex-fiancée Linda (Cecilia Esterman ’21) due to Robbie’s lack of a rock star career. Luckily for Robbie, he’d just met Julia Sullivan (Carrie Fowle ’18), a waitress at the reception hall where he was performing, and might’ve just fallen in love with her. Unluckily for Robbie, however, Julia is already in a relationship with Wall Street mogul Glen Guglia (Long Nguyen G). Through Thriller-inspired dance numbers, Saturday nights in the city, and Vegas impersonators, MTG’s The Wedding Singer follows Robbie and Julia as they navigate their budding feelings for each other.

An energetic dance number started the show off, immediately captivating the audience with glitzy lights and engaging choreography. The open floor plan of La Sala served the production well in immersing the audience, making it feel like an extended stage where the audience members were also guests at the wedding receptions. There did seem to be some difficulties with some of the actors’ microphones cutting off, and the music overpowered the singing at times, but overall the production quality was top-tier. The transitions from scene to scene were quick and seamless, and any mic issues were handled with professionalism.

The musical absolutely delivered on the comedy, never overdoing anything just to extract a laugh. In the last half, the story got more serious, but the shift in tone didn’t cause the performance to lose any of its previous humor, and it managed to stay lighthearted and whimsical until the end. The drollness did not detract from the more heartfelt moments either — the musical perfectly balanced its wit with its sincerity.

Some of my favorite songs include “Casualty of Love,” which is the song of scorned lovers and one of the most entertaining performances of the musical. Rosie (Cherry Wang ’22) shows she’s no regular grandma and busts some moves with “Move That Thang.” On a softer note, never has a song about trash been as inspirational as “Come Out of the Dumpster,” and Robbie and Julia’s “Grow Old With You” will pull at your heartstrings with its gentle guitar strings and tender lyrics.

An extra round of applause must be given to the cast for their outstanding vocal talents and performances. Barea and Fowle were simply magnetic as the leads, and the supporting cast of Sammy (Michael Mandanas ’22), George (Chris Chang ’21), Holly (Daphne Faber ’23), Rosie, Angie (Eva Demsky ’22), Glen, and Linda shined in each of their respective roles. The excitement from each cast member was visible and transferred to the audience as well, creating a thrilling energy in the room. 

It’s the 2020s. Mullets are out, and unfortunately, so is Ronald Reagan. Grab a ticket to The Wedding Singer and travel back to the 80s for a fun two-ish hours. You won’t regret it.