‘The Wedding Singer’ Affectionately Recalls the 80s

June 3, 2024



L-R Matthew David Conwell, Alex Pharo & Micah Phillips – Courtesy of Zach Rosing. Used with permission.

Alex Pharo – Courtesy of Zach Rosing. Used with permission.

Energy and exuberance were the hallmarks of “The Wedding Singer” presented by Eclipse, the professional offspring of Summer Stock Stage, at Phoenix Theatre Cultural Centre, Friday. The romantic comedy, which premiered on Broadway in 2006 has a rock score with music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin and book by Beguelin and Tim Herlihy. It is based on the 1998 film of the same title.

The story centers on the failed relationship of Robbie, a wedding singer Robbie Hart (Alex Pharo) and his ex-fiancé Linda (Kai’Lea Wainwright and his current love interest Julia Sullivan (Leela Rothenberg).

Expertly directed by Kate Galvin, the show’s leads and those in supporting roles were all strong and ideally cast. Crowd favorites were Matthew David Conwell as flamboyant band member George and Wainwright as sassy Linda who showed uncommon stage presence and vocal potency. The additional ensemble of six sparkled—with all contributing to the previously mentioned spiritedness and passion conveyed by the company who deftly executed Philip Crawshaw’s sprightly choreography.

Leela Rothenberg – Courtesy of Zach Rosing.. Used with permission.

Deserving of praise was a ten-piece band that handily played a less than memorable score that included “Single,” its most catchy song, that featured all the men in the cast.

Nearly upstaging the Broadway caliber of the show’s performances was Wendy Meaden’s spot on eighties style fashion which featured bold colors, big shoulders, sequins, ruffles —all of which represented the provocative sensibilities of the decade. Complementing Meaden’s explosive color palette was Abigail Wagner’s asymmetric set that featured set pieces that suggested location shifts.  Contributing to the production’s top notch technical quality was Lighting Designer Matthew Cunningham and Sound Designer Zach Rosing.

For tickets and information about Eclipse’s 2024 Season visit summerstockstage.org










photo: Josh Humble

About Tom

Journalist, producer, director, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, arts administrator, TV contributor, actor, model, writer and lyricist, Tom Alvarez has had an extensive career in media and the fine arts and continues to be an enthusiastic and devoted fan of both. His passion and unique background grant him insight, access and perspective to cover, promote and review the arts in Indianapolis, Central Indiana and beyond. Follow him on social media @tomalvarezartswriter and @tomalvarez1.

Alvarez has been writing about theatre, dance, music, cinema and visual arts for 40 years. His work has appeared in the Indianapolis Star, NUVO, Indianapolis Monthly, Arts Indiana, Unite Magazine, Dance Magazine, NOTE Magazine, and Examiner.com, among many other print and online platforms. A former contributor to Across Indiana on WFYI-TV, he currently has a regular performing arts segment on WISH-TV’s Life. Style. Live!

A principal of Klein & Alvarez Productions, LLC, Alvarez co-created “Calder, The Musical” and is the managing director of Magic Thread Cabaret. As an actor-model, he has appeared in numerous TV and print ads and is represented by the Helen Wells Agency and Heyman Talent Artists Agency.

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