music / Canberra Symphony Orchestra Recital Series, with Julian Smiles and Dimity Hall, Wesley Uniting Church, Forrest, July 15. Reviewed by CLINTON WHITE
WHAT’S not to like in a musical in which a fake Billy Idol and Cyndi Lauper reveal the pathway to true love to mullet-coifed wedding singer, Robbie Hart (Dave Smith) and winsome waitress Julia Sullivan ( Emily Ridge). Robbie has formed a band with his best mates, likeable lout, Sammy (Tim Stiles) and Boy George clone, George (David Santolin). They specialise in wedding gigs.
When Robbie’s horrendous fiancée, Linda (Emma White) unceremoniously dumps him at his own wedding, his life decends into a downward spiral from which not even his sex-absorbed grandmother, Rosie (Lauren Nihill) can distract him.
With the help of an energectic, likeable cast, a hot band and an endless parade of truly atrocious ‘80s costumes, directors, Amy Dunham and Sarah Hull, have transformed this unlikely scenario into a disarmingly silly and enjoyable entertainment.
It helps that the score is riddled with catchy songs, even though Robbie’s forte is writing ditties that are so bad they’re good and Emma Nicholls has devised a series of energetic dance routines to differentiate the various wedding receptions featured in the plot. Dunham and Hull have provided the large cast with endless opportunities to create a lexicon of outrageous wedding guests and they grasp those opportunities with infectious gusto.
Good performances from Dave Smith, Emily Ridge, Tim Stiles, David Santolin, along with Josie Dunham, as Julie’s air-head friend Holly, and Michael Jordan as her philandering fiancé, Glen Guglia, anchor the show. Among the large ensemble are eye-catching cameos from Mitchell France, Shennia Spillane, Bill Lord, Emma Nikolic, Kym Starr, Joe McGrail-Bateup and Kara Sellers.
Queanbeyan Players have come up with a winner with this delightful concoction but if you want to see it you’ll have to be quick. The season only runs until July 1.