Hail Marry

The Spanish version opened in Madrid last October. The Swedish take opened in Karlstad shortly afterward. The Japanese production opened recently in Tokyo, and other foreign-language adaptations are scheduled to première soon in Finland, Germany, and South Korea. But Phoenicians will have to settle for the original English production of The Wedding Singer.

Like seemingly every other stage musical of the 21st century, The Wedding Singer is based on a non-musical film of the 1980s, in this case the one starring Adam Sandler in a scary wig and thrift-store dinner jackets with the sleeves rolled up. Sandler played Robbie Hart, a wanna-be rock star who toils as New Jersey’s most popular wedding singer. When his own romance hits a sour note and Robbie is dumped by his fiancée, our hero falls into the arms of a caterer-waitress (Drew Barrymore) who thinks covering tunes by A Flock of Seagulls is a cool way to make a living, but who’s about to be married herself to a guy nobody likes.

The film version featured mid-’80s pop music, but Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin’s score for the musical, which was nominated for a slew of Tony Awards in 2006, features all new tunes that sound like they could have been recorded by, say, Men at Work or Toto. Beguelin’s and Tim Herlihy’s book sticks close to the movie’s cheerful story about “finding The One” and the ways in which True Love can prevail, and the road company costumes are frighteningly accurate reminders of what we were wearing in 1985.

Tue., May 20, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., May 21, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., May 22, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., May 23, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., May 24, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., May 25, 2 & 7 p.m., 2008
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela