Photo by Scott Diese, Courtesy of Weathervane Playhouse
Erin Diroll (Julia) and Jason Leupold (Robbie) star in Weathervane Playhouse’s production of “The Wedding Singer.”
Looking for something a little out of the ordinary to do this weekend?
Try catching “The Wedding Singer” at the Weathervane Playhouse in Merriman Valley.
That’s right: the 1998 Adam Sandler flick we all came to know and love has been turned into a musical. And if you’re like me, you’re probably a little skeptical about that. I love musicals and I love Adam Sandler movies – but an Adam Sandler movie as a musical?
Stop right there. Because if you’re also like me, you’ll be blown away by this production.
You’ll be blown away by how much Erin Diroll (who plays Julia Sullivan) matches the charm of Drew Barrymore. You’ll be blown away by Jason Leupold (Robbie Hart) and his “Somebody Kill Me” break-up ballad. And you’ll definitely be blown away when you realize that most of these performers are Kent State students. Elizabeth Casper (Holly) is just a freshman? I would have thought there was years of experience behind that performance.
Yes, there are differences between the film and the stage adaptation. The biggest of these is the ending, which does not end on an airplane like it did in the film. And while I won’t ruin the ending for you, I will tell you that I actually liked the stage ending better. It had a little more comedy behind it, but still managed to strike all the right heart chords with Robbie’s serenade.
Overall, I think the stage production brings an element of youth that the movie lacks. You feel energy radiating from the cast from the time the curtain rises to the final musical number when they enter the audience. The live version provides even more comic timing than the film, allowing you to fully appreciate all the one-liners. As with most musicals, there are the few standout characters that will make you laugh as soon as they walk onstage. Be on the lookout for Christine Batten as Robbie’s over-the-top ex Linda, Joshua Hughes as Robbie’s tranny friend George and Karen Wood as Robbie’s grandmother Rosie. And when George and Rosie go into their rendition of “Move That Thang”? Pull out your inhaler because you’re going to be gasping for air.
Tickets range from $18-$24. Catch the show before it exits the stage this Monday. For ticket information for “The Wedding Singer,” call 330-836-2626.