Thursday, May 13, 2010

Guest Reviewer: The Wedding Singer*

The Wedding Singer**

By: Chad Beguelin & Matthew Skiar; put on by Clovis West
Reviewed by: Felicity T., 16
Rating: Really liked it

Clovis West High School’s production of Chad Beguelin and Matthew Skiar’s The Wedding Singer opened Thursday night, April 29. With a cast of gifted singers, dancers, and other performers, and a first-class live orchestra, the production was a jaw-dropping event! The Wedding Singer was a fun and music-filled production marked by impressive levels of talent and excellence from its high school-age performers.

Personally, I enjoyed attending the musical because of its professional and polished atmosphere—I did not feel like I was watching a high school theater production. Rather, I felt ushered into a well-budgeted community or professional musical. Having the opportunity to view such an excellently choreographed production was a privilege, and it has grown my sympathy for stage operations. One aspect of The Wedding Singer that I felt a great appreciation for was the sound of the orchestra. In the first few scenes, I did not give much thought to where the soundtrack came from, but when I actually considered that the full-blown jazz sounds emanating from the pit were produced by my peers, I was blown away!

Even more than The Wedding Singer’s musical quality, I appreciated the insight it provided into common culture and philosophy. The play’s plot gives a clear message using Julia’s fiancĂ©, Glen, to show that wealth is clearly not the path to success and fulfillment, especially in relationships. And neither is drunken revelry or romantic aspiration, according to Beguelin and Skiar. Another interesting facet of pop culture’s stereotypes is the musical’s portrayal of sex and gender roles. Clear examples of women’s objectification and its unsatisfactory consequences are evident in some of the dance styles and comments by male characters. Furthermore, I thought the production’s thematic conclusion about love was noteworthy. Love is about who you know you will be happy growing old with, not money or good looks or common interests, the play declares between the lines, as it closes with Robbie’s “Grow Old With You.”

While I was pleased with the performance and musical quality of the musical, The Wedding Singer left me spiritually thirsty and longing for more solid and wholesome relational lessons. I would recommend the production to those who are not easily scandalized by certain dance styles and who are able to sift through the surface comedy to find the deeper messages in The Wedding Singer.

*This play ran from April 29-May 8
Links to the movie

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