Wedding songs

‘The Wedding Singer’ sings to center stage after years of hiatus – The Oswegonian

By Mackenzie Shields

SUNY Oswego’s production of “The Wedding Singer” began April 21 and will run through April 24, with a preview available for students on April 20.

“The Wedding Singer” is conducted by SUNY Oswego Associate Professor Jonel Langenfeld and music conducted by Assistant Professor Alan Martin.

The show is based on the 1998 film of the same title, and according to Martin, is full of music that has a “strong nostalgia for anyone who loves 80s music”.

Nicholas Sweet, a junior majoring in theater and film and screen studies with a minor in creative writing, plays Robbie Hart, the show’s titular wedding singer.

“Honestly, I’m just excited to be back on stage,” Sweet said. “Because of COVID, in-person shows weren’t something we could do safely until last fall. With that, there’s just kind of an energy flowing, an excitement among the cast, that we can finally perform in front of a live audience.

The week of rehearsals leading up to the show is called Technology Week, which Martin says was “affectionately called ‘Hell Week.'” the opening of the show on Thursday.

Martin said rehearsals are long and he arrives around 6 p.m. and doesn’t leave the theater until after 11 p.m. He said they keep students there “as long as we could without being cruel,” and pointed out that students also handle class work and other obligations. Sweet said the rehearsal process is hugely important to people like him.

“A biology major has to take multiple courses with lengthy labs,” Sweet said. “This show is like a laboratory for theater students. We hone our skills and learn how the rehearsal process works in the real world. »

He also said that playing the lead role in the production was a lot of work.

“This show pushed me to practice with the material more than ever, to work on making sure I could play this show,” Sweet said. “Some songs require dancing and heavy singing, so it’s about finding a balance between the two.”

The show will be accompanied by a pit of 13 musicians, most of whom are students, Martin said. He added that he spent time rearranging and redistributing music books to make the musical feasible for the pit they had. Martin has also spent time working on the sound design for the show’s three keyboards, which helps give the music its ’80s feel. Recently, the cast played the show with the full band for the first time.

“[The cast’s] the excitement of hearing the sounds they were hearing was palpable,” Martin said, adding that there was a loop of energy and excitement between the band and the performers.

Martin said band rehearsals began around the end of January, and cast rehearsals began soon after.

“It’s pretty short to put together a show of this magnitude,” Martin said, also noting that the time used was comparable to a professional production rather than a college-level show.

Sydnei Williams, the show’s stage manager and Class of 2020 graduate, said her favorite part of working on the show was the technical process.

“It’s very exciting [to] listen to the band and bring all the stage, light and sound elements together,” Williams said.

As stage manager, her job is to call the cues throughout the show so that everything can happen on time. She said she should always be ready to answer anyone’s questions.

“You end up being the go-to person for the cast, crew, designers, and directing team to all work together,” Williams said.

Several people involved in the production noted their excitement for the show to be performed in front of a live audience. Langenfeld said in an email that she hopes many people will come to see the production.

“The entire cast has been waiting for this day since we started rehearsals and really want to show off all the hard work we’ve put into the show,” Sweet said.

According to SUNY Oswego’s box office website, the production will last approximately two and a half hours and there will be a 15-minute intermission. It is offered from 13 years old.

Tickets for “The Wedding Singer” are available at the SUNY Oswego box office or online at oswego.universitytickets.com and are $15 for general public or free for students. The show will offer four performances from April 21 to 24 at 7:30 p.m. and an additional matinee on April 24 at 2 p.m.

Image of Mackenzie Shields