South Fayette musical takes audience back to ’80s with ‘Wedding Singer’ |

South Fayette musical takes audience back to ’80s with ‘Wedding Singer’

Kristina Serafini

South Fayette High School students are inviting audiences to rock and roll through the ‘80s with them as they perform “The Wedding Singer” from March 29 to 31.

The cast of about 50 students, donning fishnet gloves, mesh T-shirts and zebra-striped pants, hope to have audience members laughing in their seats with inside jokes from the decade. They even promise you’ll be singing along, as the songs will definitely get stuck in your head.

“It’s a great trip through the 1980s,” said director Tyler Smith.

The show closely follows the storyline of the 1998 film of the same name starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore about Robbie Hart, a wedding singer, who gets dumped and spirals into a depression. Along the way, he meets Julia, who is engaged, and the two end up living happily ever after.

Smith, who is in his first year directing musicals at South Fayette, said he was looking for a show that the kids could connect with.

“It’s such a great comedy,” he said.

But what gives it that little extra zing?

“It’s the kids,” Smith said. “They are the most wonderful people I’ve ever gotten to work with. They’re just so smart. They’re so talented.”

If you lived through the 1980s, this show will take you back. If not, you will still have a good laugh, cast members promise.

“What I love about this show is there’s the nostalgia factor that the parents who were teens in the 1980s are going say, ‘This is the greatest thing in the world!’” Smith said.

South Fayette has a history of doing more traditional musicals. This modern show gets away from that, said assistant director Chris Elek.

“It’s super funny,” she said. “There’s all kinds of 80s references that are subtle, and then, there’s overt ones too that make it really, really funny for people who lived through that era.”

Having a show that’s different from ones they’ve done in the past has allowed students to expand on their acting skills, they said.

“I like that it gave me a challenge,” said senior Sam Schuler, 18, who plays Robbie Hart. “It’s a very different part than I’m used to playing.”

With his part this year, he has to go through a range of emotions, he said. The role also is vocally demanding.

Several cast members said they weren’t quite sure what “The Wedding Singer” was when the show was announced.

Senior Noah Kilgus, 18, who plays George, said he had to ask his mom to tell him about it. She, of course, knew every detail.

“It’s not your traditional musical theater,” he said. “There’s a lot of rock and pop and things you wouldn’t expect in a musical.”

That’s a good thing, cast members said.

“I just think it’s funny,” said senior Aubrey Lutz, 18, who plays Rosie. “Each character has its own hook.”

If you’veever gotten bored sitting through a musical that seems to go on for hours, Mia Sandala, 18, who plays Linda, says that won’t happen here.

“In this one, there’s always something that’s entertaining,” she said.

Sophomore Audrey Logan, 15, who plays Julia, thrives off the energy of her fellow cast members.

“Because we all are so close to each other and have such great relationships, we feed off of each others energy, both on stage and off stage,” she said.

The relationship between cast members is what sophomore Nate Souders, 16, who plays Sammy, finds the most rewarding.

“I love being part of this,” he said. “After my day, I’m so excited to come here. It’s like ‘Yes, I have musical today!’ It’s such a fun experience.”

Kristina Serafini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kristina at 412-324-1405, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Sophomore Nate Souders (from left), senior Sam Schuler and senior Noah Kilgus perform in a scene as Sammy, Robbie and George during a rehearsal for South Fayette’s production of “The Wedding Singer” at the school on Thursday, March 7, 2019.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Senior Sam Schuler and sophomore Audrey Logan perform in a scene as Robbie and Julia during a rehearsal for South Fayette’s production of “The Wedding Singer” at the school on Thursday, March 7, 2019.
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