Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore turned The Wedding Singer into a classic in 1998.
The Broadway version hit the stage in 2006 and earned all kinds of theater nominations, including five Tony Awards.
It was this popularity among film and theater fans that prompted the Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre (formerly Richland Light Opera) to present The Wedding Singer as its first production in the 2011-12 season.
The show opens Nov. 11 and continues Nov. 12, 18-19 in the auditorium at Richland High School.
The only difference between the film and stage versions of The Wedding Singer is the music. The movie's soundtrack was packed with hits from the 1980s.
The music for the stage show was written specifically for the musical by composer Matthew Sklar with lyrics by Chad Beguelin.
The story, however, follows the same theme about the love troubles of wedding singer Robbie Hart, played by Geoff Elliott, who gets dumped by his girlfriend at the altar. His broken heart leads him on a destructive path that gets him tossed into a Dumpster at a wedding where he was supposed to sing.
His waitress friend Julia, played by Julie Heegel, tries to get his mind off his broken heart by getting him involved with her wedding plans. But instead of helping, events get stickier when Robbie and Julia end up falling in love.
"The fun of this show is that 18 actors get to play more than 60 parts, so that every time they come on stage they will be someone different, wearing a different costume, different hair and even a different voice," said the show's producer Jo Brodzinski.
The show is directed by Robbie Heegel, the lead actress' husband. And even though the director might have the same first name as the lead character in the show, Heegel identifies with the musical's 1980s theme, Brodzinski said.
"He grew up hearing and living this music, and his commitment is amazing," she said. "The cast has built a unity under (Heegel's) direction that makes the show tight and alive."
Handling co-direction for the show will be Justin Raffa and Debi Eng with choreography by Marlie Buriak. The production has more than 200 costumes with 32 scenes and sets interchanging, which requires a production staff of more than 60 volunteers, Brodquinski said.
The 63-year-old music theater company announced its name change from Richland Light Opera to the Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre earlier this year.
"Companies that began as Light Opera changed their name to reflect what they actually do, which is perform all types of musical theater," Brodzinski said.
The company will continue to refer to both names for another year until the public becomes used to the new name.
Showtime for The Wedding Singer is 8 p.m. Nov. 11-12, 18-19 with a 2 p.m. matinee Nov. 20. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for students. Tickets are available at Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet or www.tix.com.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org