You Give Love a Bad Name

I managed to catch The Wedding Singer at the Majestic this past Wednesday, and while my expectations for this Broadway Across America offering were low--the whole shebang looked like an excuse to make a buck--there were a few bright lights to be had, mostly in the casting. The musical itself--cobbled together from songs from the film and from an original score--is forgettable stuff,  and mainly populated by gags about '80s rock groups and the film Flashdance. (The under-30 set is likely to be totally baffled by the Reagan zeitgeist in-jokes. How many Van Halen references can one body endure?) While winking at the audience is fine, a little bit goes a long way: Broadway's current production of Xanadu knows enough to call it quits after 90 minutes, unlike The Wedding Singer's 2+ hours. This present production is a controversial one: it's the first 'first national tour' to make the rounds with non-Equity (that is to say, non-union) actors, and it's not exactly to San Antonio's credit that we booked it. That said, the actors were absolutely the strongest part of the production: talented and spry and energetic, and, for the most part, all of 24 years old. Fortunately, The Wedding Singer can get away with a young cast, and I have to say, on the whole, this was actually a better production than this winter's turgid Camelot.