The following report is written by Peter B. Sanders, who stars as Robbie Hart in the Florida Academy of Performing Arts (FAOPA) production of “The Wedding Singer: The Musical,” on stage at the James McCabe Theatre in Valrico. The FAOPA is in residence at in Brandon.
What can I say about being in “The Wedding Singer,” the musical comedy? This has long been one of my favorite shows, and I have been singing all of the songs along with the CD for years, ever since my good friend Pedro Amaral introduced me to this uber-fun Broadway show, based on my favorite Adam Sandler movie.
Robbie Hart has been a dream role of mine ever since I first heard of the show. He is the lead singer of an 80's cover band! "Yeah," I thought with a smile, "I can play that.”
I do love the 80's.
Needless to say, being blessed with the opportunity to bring Robbie Hart to the local stage has been one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had, and I certainly am not doing it alone. I am honored to be working with such amazing talent all around, with my cast and crew mates.
I don't know many people who are as motivated and hard-working as our director, Tammy Modica. Her dedication and persistance are absolutely inspiring.
Anja Akstin is simply brilliant as Julia Sullivan, which only pushes me to work harder at being the best Robbie Hart I can be. Beej Boytek's choreography is nothing short of dazzling. You will not believe some of the dances in this show.
I also am very blessed to be working alongside one of my best friends in real life, Corey Wade. He is hilarious as Robbie's best friend and band-mate, Sammy.
For me, this cast and crew is made up of old friends and new, and I personally admire each and every one of them. I appreciate them all more than they will ever know. I am so very thankful for all of the hard work everyone is putting into this production.
Simply put, you need to see this show.
It is a brilliantly clever, sweet, romantic, musical comedy set in 1985. For my money, there is nothing better. Believe me when I tell you, this show is for you. We're bringing you, "The Wedding Singer: The Musical." In the words of Corey Wade: "From our 'Hart' to your ears."
Show dates are Feb. 24 and 25 at 8 p.m.; Feb. 26 at 2 p.m.; March 2 and 3 at 8 p.m.; and March 4 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are available online. Cost is $12 for adults and $10 for youth, seniors and military. At the door, ticket prices rise to $15 for adults and $13 for youth, seniors and military.
The James McCabe Theater is at 506 Fifth St. in Valrico, north of State Road 60 and Valrico Road.