musical: the wedding singer

"the musical" stars gian magdangal as robbie harti’m taking a break from reading filipino horror for today. instead, i’m going to be writing about 9 works theatrical’s production of THE WEDDING SINGER musical, which i watched last night.

THE WEDDING SINGER musical differs slightly from the movie version its based on in that it has less characters, and the worlds of the characters were made smaller. the three core characters: robbie hart, julia sullivan and glen gulia, all retain their same backgrounds from the movie. as does holly, julia’s cousin. the other characters though were tweaked to fit the smaller scale of the musical version.

most notably, robbie was given a grandmother in the guise of rosie, who was the old woman robbie taught singing lessons to in the movie; sammy, robbie’s best friend, went from limo driver to a band member; and george, the keyboardist of robbie’s band, is now very much part of robbie’s friend circle–and doesn’t get booed off stage.

the musical follows the same story that the movie has. except it has more songs and more jokes. and that, i think, was the reason why i didn’t enjoy the musical so much. the movie, while cheesy, was earnest in its message of true love. in the musical, the message seems to have gotten lost in the influx of double-entendres and angst.

still, 9 works theatrical production is good. gian magdangal, as the lead character, faltered a bit in the beginning, but let’s chalk that up to pre-wedding jitters. the rest of the cast were spectacular through and through though; particularly the actresses who played holly and rosie. my only disappointment was the less-endearing george, but i think that has more to do with the alterations in character than the portrayal of the actor.

my favorite performance would have to be holly and sammy’s “right in front of your eyes,” which had a throwback dance interlude taken from a madonna music video. “pop” was also memorable, but felt more HAIRSPRAY than THE WEDDING SINGER. though, that was the only original song i liked in the musical’s libretto.

they did use “somebody kill me” and “grow old with you” in the musical. the only two songs to survive the move from movie to musical. and while gian magdangal sounds good in “somebody kill me” (until midway, anyway), i couldn’t latch on to his earnestness in “grow old with you.”

most of my qualms about the musical really has to do with the material. but it’s still a very enjoyable production. and 9 works theatrical seems to have gone all out on the set. it was perfect. and the costumes? save for one dress that seemed more esmeralda (HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME) than julia sullivan, everything was stellar. the only thing i want to call out was the lights direction. it was good in some parts, and bad in some parts, and there were parts where you start to think “is it really supposed to be that dark? i can’t see anyone.”

THE WEDDING SINGER musical continues to play at the meralco theater until november 17. for tickets call ticketworld at 891-9999.

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movie: the wedding singer

"the wedding singer" starring adam sandler, drew barrymorethis is not the first time i watched THE WEDDING SINGER. i have seen it before, when i was still in high school. but my workshop facilitator told me to watch it again, and to take note of progressions and other story-telling devices, so i looked for a copy at a local video store.

no, the copy i bought wasn’t pirated. viva films, the local distributor of THE WEDDING SINGER here in the philippines, has re-released some of their more popular titles in a more eco-friendly packaging. and while i admire the effort–well, it looks hideous. there are better ways of being eco-friendly without looking like a cheapskate. or worse, as the case here is, looking like a knock-off.

and if the packaging wasn’t bad enough, the movie itself felt very bootleg. as if someone snuck in a video camera inside the movie house, captured the entire film, and then proceeded to change the aspect ration to fit into a square-ish tv screen.

the packagine = horrible. the copy = horrible. good thing the movie itself wasn’t bad.

i remember that i liked the film the first time i watched it. yes, i wasn’t a fan of romantic comedies. but i liked the movie’s cheesiness that i never denied liking the film. plus, there’s the grandmother rapping rapper’s delight. that was just plain awesome.

but now, i have to watch movies with a different perspective. well, i usually still watch as just a viewer, but this is a repeat viewing. i’m watching as someone studying an effective way of telling a love story. and while the movie is still good, i can’t help but notice how flimsy the movie’s plot is:

guy is engaged to married, but gets left at the altar. literally. girl is engaged to be married, but to a jerk who doesn’t deserve her. guy and girl meets, they become friends, and they slowly start falling in love with each other. then guy’s ex-fiancee wants to drop the ex in her title. but guy is in love with girl already so he chooses her over the ex. unfortunately, girl is already leaving to get married. now guy must go after her, and show her he deserves her more (which isn’t that hard, considering the fact that her fiance is a jerk). and then they live happily ever after.

let’s pretend i never mentioned THE WEDDING SINGER. what movie title would have come into your head?

don’t get me wrong. i still like the movie. i’m just saying the plot is generic. the presentation though is very nice. because you actually believe that guy and girl did fall in love. and you are never dubious as to how it could’ve happened, because you saw it happen.

and that’s the lesson my workshop facilitator wants me to learn. but  here’s the ‘lesson’ i got instead: you have to  make people believe that true love will come, but it’s still up to them to choose it.

obviously i learned what my facilitator wants me to learn, the second ‘lesson’ is just a bonus. and more than just teaching me a lesson, THE WEDDING SINGER also gave me something else: a much-needed break from non-stop working.

"the musical" stars gian magdangal as robbie hartspeaking of which: my friend is still selling tickets to the november 7 play date of 9 works theatrical production of THE WEDDING SINGER, THE MUSICAL.

the cast of the local production will be led by PARTY PILIPINAS‘s gian magdangal and myx vj iya villania. but the latter will be alternating with shiela valderama-martinez, a theater veteran who has worked in hong kong disneylands’s productions.

joining them are nikki valdez, analin bantug, jeremy aguado, lorenz martinez, johann dela fuente, myrene santos, and enchang kaimo.

some parts of the film were tweaked to fit the musical adaptation better, adn i am interested to see how differently the story will play out. i know that guy and girl will still end up growing old with each other by curtains down, but it’s always the journey to get to the end that makes it all worth it. right?

so let’s see how this particular journey goes.

for those who are interested to buy tickets for the november 7 play date, please visit: watch plays, or e-mail watchplays(at)yahoo(dot)com.

ticket prices are: php1400  for orchestra center; php1200 for orchestra side or loge center; php1100 for loge side; php700 for balcony center; and php600 for balcony side.

advert: the wedding singer, the musical

"the wedding singer" produced by 9 worksa friend of mine is selling tickets to a local production of THE WEDDING SINGER musical, and i thought i’d help out by posting about it here.

THE WEDDING SINGER, in a nutshell, is about “Robbie Hart, a New Jersey’s favorite wedding singer whose fiancee leaves him at the altar. Heartbroken, he is forced to reexamine the meaning of love and marriage with the help of Julia, a waitress from one of his wedding-singing venues.

i liked the movie (starring adam sandler and drew barrymore) that spawned the musical, but i have no idea what goes on in the musical: what they kept, what they changed, and what they added. and since previous musicals i’ve watched live are musicals i’m already familiar with, i’m coming in cold with this one.

the 9 works theatrical production of THE WEDDING SINGER opens october 23, and ends its run on november 17. my friend is selling tickets for the november 7 show.

for more information about the local production, check out this blog post from gibbs cadiz.

and i’ll post my thoughts on the musical after watching it on november 7. i do hope it’s better than their production of RENT, which was okay but was cringe-worthy during some parts.