Sam Luptak Jr.
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
The ’80s are back! Bad pop music, crazy gelled hair, zippered red leather jackets with one glove, leg warmers and shoulder pads — everything you thought was gone forever is once more becoming popular.
Nowhere will that trend be more on display than this weekend at Union High School, as students present their annual spring musical, “The Wedding Singer.”
Probably best known as a 1998 movie starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, the story became a Broadway musical in 2006.
The show tells the story of Robby Harte, a wedding singer who gets dumped on his own wedding day. He loses his desire to sing, his hope and most of his mind until he meets Julia Sullivan. She is a beautiful young lady who wants to help Robby overcome his pain and sing at her upcoming wedding. Julia and Robby become friends and more.
Filled with takeoffs on ’80s songs, high-energy dance numbers — including break dancing and the moon walk — and fashion, hairstyles and customs of the time, “The Wedding Singer” rollicks it way to that inevitable “’80s movie” happy ending. It strolls its way through a decade that to many seems way too recent to be so nostalgia-ized.
However, director Diana Borowski points out that the students performing this show are half a decade or more removed from even being born in the ’80s.
“Many of our younger performers were not even born when the movie came out.” she said. “It was kind of funny, when I first announced the show; many of the kids had to look it up to see what it even was. Then they got excited.”
This year’s production boasts five seniors who are all Union drama veterans. They all have had a myriad of significant roles over the last five years. This year these five will front the production, having landed the leads across the board.
For Megan Lawlor, playing female lead Julia is real joy. “Julia is a little crazy. She lets everything affect her. She is naïve and innocent, a real good- goody, but she cares a lot.” Lawlor said.
Julia’s best friend and cousin Holly is played by Kristina Riggans. She describes Holly as “a floozy. She’s friendly and flirty and loose. She’s very spontaneous. I love her crazy personality.”
The wedding singer himself, Robby Harte, is brought to life by Jason Salamon. While the rest of the seniors are in their fifth show, this is only Salamon’s third. He says it took him a while to get started “because I didn’t want to have to sing in front of people. And I think it should also be said, I detest dancing.
“My feet will just not coordinate with the rest of my body,” he added while gesticulating wildly to the good-natured laughing of the other cast members. In this show, Salamon not only sings and dances, he even plays the guitar.
Daniel Fusco plays Robby’s best friend Sammy, a band member with Flock of Seagulls hair who basically shows Robby everything not to do. “He treats his girlfriend like a real jerk, but he learns his lesson and in the end he wants to try to fix everything.” Fusco said.
Janis McGill plays Rosie, Robby’s Grandma. “Rosie is outspoken and crazy.” McGill said. “She goes out and parties, and she wants to talk to Robby about his sex life. She raps, dances and really steals the show.”
For these five seniors, the list of accomplishments, awards, honors and activities would take a whole page to list, but suffice to say, all five are at the top of their class in grades and all five are members of National Honor Society. Each will be attending college in the fall.
Between the talent on display and the pleasant, funny, outgoing, personalities each displayed, they, along with the rest of the other 30-plus talented cast members and crew, promise to make “The Wedding Singer” an absolutely enjoyable romp through the ’80s for the audience and a springboard to future success for its performers.