The week of March 10th to March 12th, the Kingsway Theater department will attempt to pull off a feat that even Broadway has struggled with so far: an unmasked performance in the wake of a pandemic.
The musical this year is, “The Wedding Singer”, a positive change of pace to all of the unfortunate circumstances that the past year has brought, and a great way to celebrate the end of a New Jersey in-school mask mandate. The 33-person cast is excited to take the stage with an unrestricted audience beginning with opening night at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 10.
“One thing I would like the audience to know is that I hope they are ready for a great show,” explained Francesca Solari (11th Grade). “This show is extremely funny, but also hits a lot of people’s hearts. Love is hard, and you will definitely see multiple characters find their way to their perfect match,” she continued.
In the musical, Solari plays Julia Sullivan, one of the show’s major lead roles. Julia is a waitress at a banquet hall where Robbie Hart, the show’s male protagonist, performs with his band.
When asked what rehearsing this role has taught her, Solari expressed that she “think[s] playing the role of Julia goes to show you need to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince charming”, a lesson that is widely applicable to her classmates at Kingsway as they navigate young adulthood.
The role of Robbie Hart, Solari’s co-lead, will be played by Danny Allen, a junior.
In the musical, Jessica Lewis, junior, plays Holly Sullivan. Her character is Julia’s cousin.
Lewis hopes that the audience recognizes that this is not a show that they will see every day and that an immense amount of work went into the rehearsals. “It’s something truly special with so many amazing powerhouse dancers, singers, and actors/actresses,” she said.
Lewis went on to explain that her favorite part of rehearsing for the show was practicing the choreography because that is when the cast is able to feed off each other’s characters and create a natural product on stage. Many of her other castmates agreed. Rashem Bryant, a senior, will be playing the role of George in the musical. George is the best friend of Danny Allen’s character, Robbie Hart. When asked whether or not Bryant resonates with his character, he said, “It is almost like I’m not really acting, just being myself.” George is intended to be the comic relief of the show, known for his witty remarks and snappy one-liners. Bryant is thrilled to be playing the role of George because he feels these are all traits he represents in his own life.
Lewis and Bryant adamantly agreed upon one thing and that was their favorite number in the show, “Saturday Night in the City”,
“So many characters have huge turning points in this number,” explained Lewis. “The choreography is so intense yet amusing at the same time. Everyone comes together and dances like it is a party. Everything is so fast pace and will definitely give the audience some energy,” Bryant continued.
The performances will take place on Thursday, March 10 and Friday, March 11 at 7 p.m. and doors open at 6:30 p.m. There will also be a Saturday Matinee at 2 p.m. and doors open at 1:30 p.m. All performances will take place in the Eitel Theater, which can be best accessed from the school’s South Entrance.
After nearly two years of cancelled musicals and ones adapted to best suit COVID-19 protocols, the cast of Kingsway’s “The Wedding Singer” is more than ready to get back on stage. After all, the show must go on.
By Audrey Pachuta