Fairfax High Presents ‘The Wedding Singer.’

Fairfax High Presents ‘The Wedding Singer.’

Songs, dances, humor and a love story


Rachel Cahoon and Elijah King play the leads in Fairfax High production of “The Wedding Singer.”


(Standing, from left) are Michael Sulpizio, Zion Jang, Elijah King and Matt Velasco, and (sitting, from left) are Katie Tomney and Rachel Cahoon in a scene from “The Wedding Singer.”

To Go

Showtimes are Friday-Saturday, May 6-7, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, May 8, at 2 p.m.; and Thursday-Saturday, May 12, 13 and 14, at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $15 at the door or $10 via http://www.fxplayer…">www.fxplayers.org.

Special stage-side, VIP wedding-party seats are $25 each. Only 24 are available per show, and they including refreshments during the production.

Featuring a cast and crew of 63, Fairfax High presents the romantic comedy, “The Wedding Singer,” in the school theater. Based on the movie starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, it’s about wedding singer Robbie Hart, whose bride left him at the altar, and his new love, Julia, who’s engaged to someone else.

“It’s bigger than anything we’ve ever done before, in every sense of the word,” said director Erich DiCenzo. “Each cast member, ensemble included, has an average of six costumes, and there are lots of magical, quick changes that’ll happen right before the audience’s eyes.”

The whole thing will feel like a 1980s rock concert. “From the moment the curtain opens until it’s drawn shut, the audience will be in a time warp,” said DiCenzo. “The theme of the 1980s was ‘Bigger is better,’ and that’s how I’ve addressed this show. A six-person, featured dance corps will perform lifts that I learned from Broadway choreographers, and the show’s choreographed by students Katie Tomney and Lila Johnson.”

Saying he is extremely proud of “our talented cast and crew,” DiCenzo praised their motivation, work ethic and passion for this musical set in a “totally tubular” time period. It is for ages 13 and up and, said DiCenzo, “People are going to be blown away by the caliber of the performances and the level of the special effects. Our goal is for audiences to leave saying, ‘I can’t believe this was a high school show,’ and I think they will.”

Senior Elijah King portrays Robbie. “He wanted to be a rock star, but the only gigs he could get were weddings,” said King. “So his profession is wedding singer, and he discovers that’s his calling. He’s extremely animated and feels emotions to their fullest extent. He’s caring and passionate and a good guy. He’s also very funny and likes to have fun with his two buddies who sing with him. He’s close to his grandmother, too, and genuinely enjoys life.”

THE ROLE is challenging and demanding, but King loves it. “I even had to learn to play a bit of guitar,” he said. “But the character allows me to have fun on stage. I get to sing, dance and act while playing a musical instrument, plus interact with all the other cast members. It’s an absolute blast playing the lead. I’m usually in the dance ensemble, so having this responsibility taught me how to make all my lines and songs truly entertain an audience.”

His favorite song is “Not that Kind of Thing,” a group number containing solos. “It takes place in a department store and has an awesome mixture of singing, great blocking and character interaction,” said King. “But all the ensemble, song-and-dance numbers have overwhelming presence and energy. The audience will also like the intricate set, and there’ll be tricks with the costumes and props that’ll surprise them.”

Playing Julia, a waitress at a banquet hall, is senior Rachel Cahoon. “She’s really caring, has a lot to give and usually puts others ahead of herself,” said Cahoon. “Her goal is to be in love and get married, but she’s engaged to a jerk. She’s sweet and funny, and her funny side comes out once she meets Robbie.”

Cahoon likes her role because she, too, thinks of others and would like to fall in love someday. “Julia’s songs fit my voice well and they’re all different, so I get to change from slow to up-tempo numbers,” she said. “She also has a lot of sides – quirky, serious and emotional – and it’s a good challenge to show them all.”

Cahoon especially likes her duet with King, “If I Told You,” because “it’s a gorgeous song and the emotion behind it comes through in the words and melody. She said the audience will enjoy the variety of dance numbers, plus the show’s humor. “People will laugh a lot,” she said. “And hopefully, everyone will appreciate all the work everyone – cast and crew, alike – put into it. And the story has a happy ending, so that’s nice, too.”

Senior Molly Berry portrays Holly, Julia’s cousin and best friend. “She’s fun-loving, bubbly and optimistic,” said Berry. “She’s also friendly, outgoing and supportive of Julia. This part is so much fun, especially since I played someone strict in last year’s spring musical. Holly’s happiness is contagious and makes me feel joyful, myself.”

Berry also leads an extravagant number, “Saturday Night in the City,” that takes place in a nightclub. “There’s a really cool tech feature in it that I get to do, which is really exciting,” said Berry. “It’s a dance-heavy song happening in New York, so it’s more gritty that the other numbers.”

OVERALL, she said, “This is a love story, all the characters are richly created and the choreography is incredible. And it’s about weddings and will make people feel like they’re actually at a wedding.”

It’s Fairfax’s Cappies entry, and the cast has rehearsed since February. Senior Grace Weaver, the stage manager, enthusiastically described the show’s tech elements. “We have a stationary, two-level set with a revolving staircase and movable, working parts to identify each scene,” she said. “The scenes take place in a nightclub, an office, churches, a reception hall and a revolving restaurant with pop-up tables.”

Set and light designer, senior Jonah Hurley, is adding color to the lighting for the weddings and also to set the story’s various moods, depending on the type of wedding and scene. Some of the actors will wear wigs representing ’80s hairstyles, and that includes boys with mullets, longer hair and sideburns.

And, said Weaver, “We have 288 different costumes. The girls will have big hair and wear big, sparkly dresses with bright, eye-catching colors and poofy shoulders. And the boys will be in purposely bad, matching, blue suit-jackets and neckties with piano keys on them.”

She said the audience will like the cast’s energy, the huge set and the background lights changing colors throughout the show. “We’re really going above and beyond for tech, this year,” said Weaver. “And we’re doing it all ourselves, which is a great learning experience.”