Brownsville stages 'The Wedding Singer'
By Marilyn Forbes
Published: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
This weekend, the Brownsville High School stage will be filled with big movements, big voices and big hair as the students present the fun and lively musical “The Wedding Singer,” a fast-paced, fun step into the 1980s that will keep the audience entertained and amused.
The story follows hapless wedding singer Robbie Hart through his trying time of engagement, rejection and rebirth as he and fellow cast members take part in the comedy that is a crowd pleaser for audiences of all ages.
Directed by Tricia Rohlf with an impressive cast and crew that is composed of students from ninth through 12th grades, the show was selected for its content and for its age.
“ ‘The Wedding Singer' is a relatively new musical, and after the kids enjoyed doing ‘Legally Blonde' last year, which is another newer musical, I thought they'd enjoy doing this show, too,” Rohlf said. “We have been doing a lot of the older shows, the Rogers and Hammerstein musicals, and the kids really do seem to enjoy the newer shows, too.”
A panel of judges selected the cast in December, allowing the students to study their lines and music during the holiday break from school.
“This show is coming along really, really well,” Rohlf said. “We are weeks ahead of schedule, and that is a great place to be. Two weeks out and we are running.”
With a mixture of seasoned actors and new faces, Rohlf said that she is pleased with the cast and their obvious blending.
“It's a good cast, a strong cast,” Rohlf said, adding that they were pleased at the number of freshmen who turned out to be a part of the production. “We had a lot of ninth- grade students come. It's the most that we had in a long time.”
Hart will be played by senior Jacob Murray, a veteran of the stage and to playing of leading roles at the school.
“He (Murray) was a lead last year, and he is just such a sweet kid,” Rohlf said, adding that Murray also reminded her of the actor who played the lead in the movie of the same name on which the musical is based. “He's a good kid, very humble and very Adam Sandler-like.”
Murray is excited to play the role of the loveable loser who gets to shine in the end.
“My character is such a goofy guy, so quirky, pretty much like me,” laughed Murray.
Murray said he is enjoying the show and feels that the cast has worked well together in bringing the show to life.
“Everyone has been totally awesome,” he said. “We're like one big family.”
Rohlf said that the school allots a budget of $5,000 for the shows, and the students and parents take it upon themselves to raise needed additional funding.
‘The students and their parents are all just great in getting what we need,” Rohlf said. “They sold tickets and did other things to raise the money. They are so supportive of the program here.”
Rohlf added that she is pleased with the continued support of the district.
“I really want to thank Dr.(Phillip) Savini for his support and for the support of the school board, who voted for us to keep the program,” Rohlf said.
The show has a running time of about two hours and is appropriate for all ages.
“It's a modern comedy, but it's really very funny,” co-director Michael Rohlf said. “I think that we may see more kids come out to see this because it's more modern.”
“That and it's set in the '80s, which is a great setting,” Tricia Rohlf added. “We're doing the '80s clothes and the '80s big hair and all the makeup. It's just a really fun show, and the kids are having a great time putting it all together.”
“The Wedding Singer” will be performed in the auditorium of the Brownsville High School Thursday through Sunday.
Show times will be 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students.
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.
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