Friday, August 24, 2018
Herndon’s NextStop Theatre continues to celebrate its roots with the rock musical, “The Wedding Singer.” It’s a musical meant to transport patrons “to the 1980s decade when our company was born,” said Evan Hoffmann, Artistic Director, NextStop. The theatre troupe began as the community-based Elden Street Players; five years ago it established itself as a professional theatre company.
With a rock band visible on stage, “The Wedding Singer” will take audiences into a big-singing, big-dancing, big hair tribute to the 1980s, said Hoffmann. Based upon the movie of the same name, “The Wedding Singer” is set in 1985 as a small town rock star wannabe named Robbie Hart tries to make his mark as New Jersey’s favorite wedding singer. A guy with big plans for himself until he is jilted by Julia, the woman he loves.
Hoffmann made clear that the musical is not just a throwback for those who experienced the 1980s first-hand. Knowing the music from one’s youth is not required to enjoy the show. “’The Wedding Singer‘ will not be just flash and music, but fun populated with loveable, endearing characters. The audience will be right there at a wedding party hall with a wedding that can be expected to be rebellious and overblown, in its own way.”
“We want it to be most of all a shared experience full of high energy while enjoying the journey to a happy ending and getting to know the characters.” And there are some Vegas-style impersonators who add to the fun.
With more than two dozen original tunes performed live, based upon sounds and singing styles of the 1980s the production’s music director is veteran Steve Przybyiski. Dancing is critical too, and choreography is by Cathy Oh and Mark Hidalgo
The wedding singer, Robbie Hart, is portrayed by Ricky Drummond. “This show has such a big wonderful heart to it and plenty of great jokes. You can’t not have a good time. It’s a celebration. And you don’t need to know all the references to enjoy it.”
Drummond is from Northern Virginia. He teaches in the Fairfax County Public School system. Joining Drummond on stage is Molly Rumberger as Julia. Rumberger also teaches in Fairfax County Public Schools.
Drummond provided a lyric that encapsulates the show for him: "If I hold you, there's one problem you should know. If I hold you, I might not ever let you go!"