The 1998 Drew Barrymore-Adam Sandler film The Wedding Singer is a mulleted, leather-gloved, parachute-panted nostalgia trip to 1985. The stage musical, now much further from 1998 than the film was from 1985, has an extra layer of nostalgia, recalling both the fashions and gender politics of the 1980s and the uncomplicated innocence of a late-’90s romcom.
Far from being weighed down by these expectations, however, the show fizzes and pops like Mentos dropped into New Coke. It's as high energy as a Jane Fonda exercise video, sweet as a Ring Pop and pulls you in like a dancefloor filler at a wedding.
The gist, in case you haven’t seen the film, is this: wedding singer Robbie Hart (Christian Charisiou) and waitress Julia Sullivan (Teagan Wouters) meet-cute the night before Robbie is left at the altar by his fiancée. Julia soon gets engaged to her Wall Street boyfriend Glen (Stephen Mahy), who cheats on her, worships money and fulfils his obligations as a panto villain. No points for guessing whether there’s a wedding at the end.
As the two leads, Charisiou and Wouters have far more chemistry than Sandler and Barrymore ever did - and here both parties are charming and adorable. They are both vocal powerhouses, with Broadway voices made for this kind of music. Charisiou is particularly outstanding, with an expressive face that telegraphs his emotions all the way to the last row of the dress circle. A lesser actor would be upstaged by that tightly permed mullet, but self-assured