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News
Times News Coverage for NL Little Theatre's "The Wedding Singer"
March 12, 2015

Northern Lehigh Little Theatre's production of the '80's pop musical The Wedding Singer opens on Thursday, March 12th and runs through Sunday, March 15th. To publicize the event, Terry Ahner of The Times News was kind enough to run an extensive article on the show and the behind-the-scenes journey of bringing energetic musical to the high school stage. The full text of the article is reprinted below.

The Wedding Singer Opens Tonight

Thursday, March 12, 2015

By TERRY AHNER | tahner@tnonline.com

It's everyone's dream to find the right person and fall in love, even if it isn't the one you thought it would be.

Such a story is certain to unfold when the Northern Lehigh Little Theatre presents "The Wedding Singer." Showtimes are 7 o'clock this evening, Friday, and Saturday, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, in the high school auditorium.

The cost of admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens.

Andrew Kern, assistant director, said "The Wedding Singer" is based on the 1998 film starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore that was later adapted into a Broadway musical in 2006.

The story is set in 1985 and centers on Robbie Hart, the lead singer in New Jersey's top wedding band, as he is unexpectedly left at the altar by his fiancee, Linda.

While trying to put his life back together, Robbie meets Julia Sullivan, a sweet and innocent co-worker, who is hoping to get engaged to her wealthy, yet arrogant boyfriend, Glen.

Meanwhile, the band's bass guitar player, Sammy, is struggling to rekindle a failed romance with Holly, Julia's free-spirited and self-absorbed cousin.

Ultimately, "The Wedding Singer" is a story about falling in love and finding the right person, even if it's not the person who you originally thought it would be.

"The Wedding Singer is a show that has been in the works at our theater for several years," Kern said. "Our director, Nick Sander, and I, were both big fans of the original movie, and we absolutely fell in love with the songs and humor of the Broadway musical version."

Kern added "the music is written specifically for the show, but it is all based on familiar '80s pop/rock tunes, which sets it apart from the majority of other musicals."

"We felt that the energy of the show itself and the bright '80s fashions and styles would be appealing and exciting for our students," he said. "The script is also hilarious, and allowed for a wide array of supporting roles to showcase our growing number of talented performers."

"The Wedding Singer" stars Nate Rex as Robbie, and Alexis Middaugh as Julia. The supporting cast includes Noah Freudenberger as Sammy, Kasey Wayda as Holly, Floyd Snyder as Glen, Jacob Heintzelman as George, Victoria Lear as Linda, and Maddie Ligenza as Rosie.

"We have a truly gifted group of students in this year's production who have risen to the challenge of this extravagant, yet demanding show," he said. "Our returning leads, Nate Rex, Alexis Middaugh, Kasey Wayda, and Jacob Heintzelman, among others, have developed into amazing performers, dedicated professionals, and strong leaders for their peers. We are also fortunate to have a promising cast of underclassmen who have shown tremendous potential for years to come."

Kern said the cast is diverse.

"This show, in particular, has also brought out a huge wave of fresh faces that are taking the stage for the first time," he said. "It's an incredibly diverse cast full of seasoned theater veterans, dancers, singers, musicians, and athletes."

Kern said he's been especially impressed with the students persistence in the wake of this winter's weather pattern.

"We have had a hectic rehearsal schedule made more complicated with numerous weather delays and cancellations, but our students have pushed themselves very hard to create the best show possible," he said. "Some of them are balancing multiple activities, part-time jobs, family obligations, and our own rigorous schedule, but the entire cast has been committed and enthusiastic about this show. We could not be more proud of the work our cast and crew have done on 'The Wedding Singer.'"

Kern also noted that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the Northern Lehigh Little Theatre, which dates back to its first production of "My Fair Lady" in 1971.

"Many members of our production crew are alumni of the Little Theatre, and we are fully aware of how big of a milestone this is for our school," he said. "We know what a positive experience this is for our students, our school, and our community, and we hope to honor that tradition with a truly outstanding show. We are working hard to pull out all of the stops for The Wedding Singer."

Above all else, Kern said the utmost objective is to put on a show that entertains the audience.

"Our goal, first and foremost, is to provide an enjoyable and educational experience for our students, and an entertaining performance for our community," he said. "The most rewarding part is watching our students forming new friendships, overcoming obstacles, and making lasting memories through the theater program."

Kern added "The Wedding Singer is a bright, vibrant and energetic show with lots of laughs, great music, and incredible set pieces. The '80s setting also gave our artistic director Stephen Shuey, and lighting and sound director Randall Utsch, the opportunity to incorporate some really awesome new tricks into this year's show.

"From the very first production meeting, our mindset was to treat this show less like a traditional musical, and more like a rock concert," he said. "I think it's safe to say that audiences will see the Northern Lehigh stage in a way that they have never seen it before."