The '80s are coming back strong as the Nordonia High School Drama Club prepares to present "The Wedding Singer." Based on the popular 1998 film starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, "The Wedding Singer" became a hit on Broadway in 2006. The original pop score includes music inspired by Cyndi Lauper, David Bowie, Boy George, Pat Benetar and more.

"The Wedding Singer" is the story of New Jersey's favorite wedding singer, Robbie Hart, whose life takes an unexpected and unfortunate turn after he is stood up at his own wedding. Heartbroken, he is forced to reexamine the meaning of love and marriage. With the help of Julia, a local cater waitress, Robbie embarks on a hilarious journey of self-discovery and romance.

Leading this year's cast are Chris Fujikawa and Susan Mantkowski as Robbie and Julia. The cast also includes Charlene de Jesus as Holly and Steve McFarland as Sammy with a total of 40 students who will perform multiple roles in the spring musical.

Chris, 16, is a junior and has been participating in the drama club since his freshman year.

"I like singing the most out of everything including dancing and acting," said Chris. "I really enjoy how Robbie gets to hang out with his band and also his other friends like Julia and Holly. It's a chance for me to get to act with everybody."

Chris plans on pursuing either music, engineering or the medical field after graduation.

Susan, 17, is a senior and is participating in her first very first performance.

"I've always enjoyed watching the school musicals and decided this was my last time to go for it," said Susan. "I'm very excited to share the performance with the audience and for everything to come together and make sense."

Susan plans on pursuing the medical field in pediatrics after graduation.

Charlene, 17, is a junior who began participating in the drama club her freshman year.

"I haven't talked to half of these people before but we have gotten really close," said Charlene.

"This role called for someone who could belt their voice and I wanted to be able to show that part of my voice."

Charlene plans to go into the medical field after graduation.

Steve, 18, is a senior and this will be his third year in drama club.

"I like the role because it really fits my personality in a sense," said Steve. "My favorite part is you can sing and dance on stage and be yourself without anyone thinking you're weird."

Steve will be attending The Ohio State University for biochemistry after graduation.

Chris Simmons, the drama club director said there are 50 more students behind the scene who work on stage crew, tech, lighting, sound, make-up and hair.

"I am looking forward to all of them getting applause and recognition for their hard work," said Simmons. "It's exciting that it's all coming together but when it's over I'm going to miss it."

Simmons said this is a relatively new show that includes big dance numbers and catchy music.

"We haven't done a play 80's style in a really long time," said Simmons. "I came up with the idea to do this musical because it is not something that has been done a lot. People won't have much to compare it to."

Performances will be April 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. and April 13 at 2 p.m. in the Nordonia High School auditorium. Reserved seating is $12 a ticket and general admission seating is $10 and $8 for senior citizens. To reserve tickets call 330-908-6199.

Email: astewart@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-5432

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