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'Wedding Singer' comes to life with new play at Geyer

| Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 9:03 p.m.
Linda Harkcom | For The Independent-Observer
The 1980s will come to life on the stage at the Geyer Performing Arts Center this weekend when Actors and Artists of Fayette County present “The Wedding Singer.” Here, cast members rehearse a scene from the show. Pictured, from left, are: first row, Jordan Hosfelt of Connellsville, Tristan Murphy of Brownsville and Willie White of Scottdale. Second row, Brennen Malia of Connellsville.

The 1980s will come to life again on the stage at the Geyer Performing Arts Center this weekend when Actors and Artists of Fayette County present “The Wedding Singer.”

Jonathan Rohlf of Brownsville makes his directorial debut with this musical based on the movie starring Adam Sandler by the same name.

“It has elements that the movie has but this is a new take on it,” Rohlf said.

The story takes place in 1985. Rock-star wannabe Robbie Hart is New Jersey's favorite wedding singer. He's the life of the party, until his own fiancée leaves him at the altar. Shot through the heart, Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own. Enter Julia, a winsome waitress who wins his affection. As luck would have it, Julia is about to be married to a Wall Street shark, and unless Robbie can pull off the performance of a decade, the girl of his dreams will be gone forever.

Rohlf said he thinks the audience will enjoy the music which has an 80s feel, as well as the message the show conveys.

“The musical numbers are very fast paced, very fun and lively. And the message is very underlying but it's that love is a simple thing and you can find it in places you wouldn't expect it sometimes,” he said.

Music Director Brad Henry of Uniontown agreed with Rohlf that the audience will really enjoy the musical numbers in the show and credited the actors who are performing it.

“We have an incredibly talented cast. They are the cream of the crop and they have done a great job learning this music. The audience is going to hear eight part harmonies in some songs,” Henry said.

The show has a cast of 25 to 30 made up of mostly young adults and teens with a few veteran actors rounding out the cast.

“It's really nice to have a young vibrant cast. They are just a bunch of people who are willing to work with me in making something artistic,” Rohlf said.

Victoria Buchtan, 19, of Carmichaels is one of those of whom Rohlf. This her first time performing at the GPAC, but she is no stranger to the stage. She has performed at the State Theater in Uniontown with the Center for the Performing Arts and at the Byham Theater in Pittsburgh with the Pittsburgh Musical Theater.

She is currently attending Robert Morris University as a communications major with a concentration in theater.

Buchtan plays Julia, the female lead.

“She's a lot different from my personality. She's more to herself and I'm more of an extravert who says what's on my mind,” she said.

The musical “The Wedding Singer” is PG-13 for language and adult subject matter. Questions about the shows appropriateness for children may be directed to the GPAC office at 724-887-0887

The musical opens tonight and runs through Sunday. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased by calling 724-887-0887 or by visiting to buy online. A dinner and a show option is available by calling Miss Martha's Tea Room at 724-887-6574.

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.