Hat High gives laughs and love in ‘The Wedding Singer’

Hat High gives laughs and love in "The Wedding Singer" Nostalgia and love are in the air around Medicine Hat High School's drama department these days, as the students are deep in rehearsal for "The Wedding Singer," which opens next week.

Persone Karen Cunningham Performing Arts Centre at Hat High, Adam Sandler, Robbie Hart, Christian Goodchild, Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper, Richard Grafton, Madonna
Luoghi Las Vegas, Dráma, Wé, Medicine Hat
Argomenti cinema, internet, software, spettacolo

30/gen/2016 06.46.43 davisyellow Contatta l'autore

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Hat High gives laughs and love in ‘The Wedding Singer’

Nostalgia and love are in the air around Medicine Hat High School’s drama department these days, as the students are deep in rehearsal for “The Wedding Singer,” which opens next week.

To bring a beloved movie starring one of the biggest stars of the last 20 years to the stage is daunting enough a task. But when that movie is an ode to the fondly remembered — and a little bit cheesy — 1980s, the mountain that needs to be climbed gets even higher.

Drama teacher Richard Grafton is doing his best to make sure the students understand just what they’ve signed up for.

“Some of them had seen the movie before but for them to understand the references going back 30 years has been a bit of a challenge,” Grafton said. “When I try to explain to them ‘this is kind of like this artist from the ’80s,’ they don’t really understand.”

That’s where the Internet and YouTube have proven handy.

Mason Harker (back row, left) as George, Jackson Moore as Sammy, Olivia Fleury as Granny, Braden Maher( front row, left) as Glen, Clare Spalding as Julia and and Christian Goodchild as Robbie Hart pose for a tableau for Medicine Hat High School's production of
Photo: http://www.queeniebridesmaiddress.co.uk/cheap-bridesmaid-dresses-uk

“We check things out and we find that song, we find that video, we watch it and then say ‘OK, in this song you’re going to sound like Alice Cooper. This isn’t an Alice Cooper song but it’s going to sound like his sort of style, or this sounds like Madonna would sing it or Michael Jackson would sing it.”

A better understanding of the 1980s has helped as the cast and crew have gotten used to the fashions, colours and patterns of the decade that help set the scene 30 years ago in places like a wedding reception hall, a bedroom and Las Vegas.

The play isn’t a carbon copy of the movie, and the music may be the most missed, with almost all of the play’s music being written for the stage.

“A lot of people might think these are cover songs but they’re not,” Grafton said. “We’re doing a lot of ’80s-inspired music, but these are songs that will help tell the story.”

Not being a copy of the movie also means the actors can make the role their own. Christian Goodchild plays Robbie Hart, the character played by Adam Sandler in the movie.

“It’s the sense of how you interpret the character,” he said about how he’s putting his stamp on the role. “In the movie he’s kind of goofy but I try to make him more naive.”

Grafton said the actors are amazing, and making these characters their own isn’t the only thing he’s been impressed by.

“We’re on exam weeks the last two weeks so they have been working hard academically and then they come after their test is over and do some painting or work on some props or help with lights and are really getting the show together,” he said. “This is one of the biggest shows and one of the most positive casts. They’re really coming together, They’re so encouraging to each other and I feel like there’s no competition between them.”

“The Wedding Singer” runs Feb. 4-7 and 9-12 at the Karen Cunningham Performing Arts Centre at Hat High at 8 p.m.

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