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The Wedding Singer


What's the difference between a large pizza and a musician? A large pizza can feed a family of four. That quip could serve as prologue to The Wedding Singer, the recent Broadway musical (book by Tim Herlihy and Chad Beguelin, music and lyrics by Chad Beguelin) based on the 1998 movie (also written by Herlihy).

  At Le Petit, director Holly-Anne Ruggiero has assembled a game cast and ignited them in a nonstop, full-blast musical fantasia so full of verve you hardly notice how thin the plot is. Basically, wrong boy meets wrong girl, or perhaps right boy meets right girl, but under the wrong circumstances.

  Robbie (Sal Mannino) is the lead singer for a band that mostly plays weddings. He is due to get married, but not to Julia (Kristin Witterschein), whom he loves. Julia is due to marry Glen (Keith Claverie), a rich stockbroker, apparently just for his money.

  There are 24 song numbers (musical direction by Jefferson Turner) with much vibrant dancing (choreography by Jeffrey Gunshol). The songs and terpsichorean delights are the show's main attraction. Much of the dialogue and lyrics, however, are pure nonsense. One youthful lover pledges his everlasting devotion: "I want to keep you by my side, until they fill us with formaldehyde." Robbie's grandmother Rose (Janet Shea) is a bit racy, despite her years, performing an exuberant rap number titled "Move That Thang!" But no one is as exuberant as Holly, a 1980s Madonna-esque character who tries to put the make on Robbie.

  The young lovers wander in confusion, like their predecessors in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Some are doomed, like Linda (Jessie Terrebonne), who was Robbie's intended. Finally, the band members (Ken Thompson and Ian Hoch) are shocked to learn that Robbie has approached Glen about a job in his company's mailroom.

  All these romantic shenanigans take place in a striking abstract set by Michael Kramer, under Paul Miller's bold, evocative lighting

  Does love or money win out? If you want a lighthearted, tuneful answer to that eternal question, go see The Wedding Singer. — Dalt Wonk

Thru July 25

The Wedding Singer

8 p.m. Thu.-Sat.; 2 p.m. Sun.

Le Petit Theatre, 616 St. Peter St., 522-2081;

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