‘Wedding Singer’ musical tours the Northwest

The Hult Center looks back a few decades this week with the ’80s-inspired musical “The Wedding Singer.” Based on the 1998 movie starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, the musical version has been nominated for five Tony Awards.

“The Wedding Singer” features the three weddings, a bar mitzvah and the trip to Las Vegas from the original movie, but it also gives the story a little twist. Although some of the hit ’80s songs from the original movie are not featured in the musical, the performance brings the decade of big hair and acid wash jeans to life with a few new numbers.

The musical will be showing tonight, Jan. 7, at 7:30 p.m., and student discounts are available.

Marketing Director of NewSpace Entertainment Kristy Maple said the musical’s popularity is in part to the movie’s success.

“Most people know the movie and are familiar with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. There were many movies during that time period that became pop culture movie favorites like “Sixteen Candles,” “Footloose” or “Ghost”… I think it was a phenomenon of the times,” Maple said.

Maple said some of the alterations to the original motion picture story, such as the fact that the ending is actually in Las Vegas instead of on an airplane, makes the staging a bit more interesting and help to better highlight the characters’ personalities.

Actor Shain Fike, who currently lives in New York but is touring nearly 90 cities with “The Wedding Singer” cast, plays the disrespectful boyfriend Glenn Gulia. The musical brings a classic love story to life and lets the audience explore relationships and realize that true love is obtainable for everyone, Fike said.

“The musical brings out these themes because it takes characters you didn’t hear from in the movie and see their motivations and get more insight into the character,” Fike said.

“The Wedding Singer” musical takes characters such as Linda, who leaves the main character Robbie at the altar on their wedding day, and gives her a musical number to explore why she left Robbie. Fike also performs a number called “All About the Green” to emphasize his character Glenn’s obsession with money and material things.

Maple argues that the musical feel of the ’80s-inspired performance draws in crowds of all ages — especially college students.

“College students seem to love the ’80s and that glitzy feel to the show. There are a lot of pop culture icons like Billy Idol that are referenced, and they seem to love the dancing that is very high energy,” Maple said.

Fike said he feels that the energy from the cast translates on stage and has helped to make the show a success.

“It’s just a really fun show. I’ve been touring with this company since July and everyone has had a really good time; it’s fast paced and the music is very engaging,” Fike said.

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