The cast of the spring musical took the stage
by Becca Emerson and Jordan Carbo
This year’s musical, The Wedding Singer, was performed on April 22 to 24 and was a success after hard work by the cast and crew memorizing the script and dances and doing all the stagecraft and backstage work. Having practiced since auditions in December, a lot of time was put into the creation of this show. With a full house almost all three nights, the audience reacted well to the show.
The musical was based on the Adam Sandler movie that was released in 1998 but which is set in 1985. Wanna-be rock star Robbie Hart is New Jersey’s favorite wedding singer. It’s all fun and games until his fiance leaves him at the altar. Throughout the comedic/romantic story, Hart slowly falls for a waitress named Julia who is about to put a ring on her finger marrying a greedy cheater.
The lead roles were played by senior Sarah Baker as Julia and sophomore David Mendez-Hutchison as Robby. Performing her last high school production, emotions were high for Baker on Sunday, the last performance of the musical. She felt confident in the cast, especially Mendez-Hutchison. “He really dominated the cast and the audience in a positive way, which took a lot of talent,” she said.
The show had more set changes than the theatre group was used to and the crew had to pull off the challenges of scene transitions in as little time as possible to keep things running smoothly, going from the wedding set to the bar to the reception and back again. “Every other song they were practically going someplace different,” said director Mrs. Rachel Sparks. “There were five or six different weddings, so you have to completely change the table decor and these different centerpieces and the actors had to change costumes, some in under 30 seconds.”
“People are more interested in it because the music is a little bit more modern and this one hasn’t been done a lot,” said Sparks. The show was upbeat and funny and had lots of singing and dancing from the ensemble members as well as the main characters, who transitioned well from one song to the next with humor and heartfelt scenes. The ensemble made up the background performing a variety of song and dance numbers. “The dance numbers were so much fun to do,” sophomore Jonathan Wilkerson said.
Senior stage manager Daniel Moton was described as one of the hardest working people working on the show by a number of the cast members who admired his hard work. “He did everything,” sophomore Jillian Roberts, head of props. “He really made the show beautiful.” Other crew members were also kept busy by the complexity of the show. “I had to make a spreadsheet for 500 props, even the tiny ones and made sure everybody had what they needed. It was really tedious,” said Roberts.
Senior E.J. Roach has been in all of the Northern High School plays and musicals since his freshman year. “It’s bittersweet. I’m going to miss the people a lot. It was a great experience every step of the way,” said Roach, who played Mr. T, a priest and photographer who assisted Hart.
“They’ve all done such a good job, it’s been a very good group of kids,” said Sparks.