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NASDA Pulls Off First Big Show of 2021

the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts has just gone back to the 80s for inspiration – its first big performance for 2021 was the hilarious movie-inspired musical, ‘The Wedding Singer’


A time when shoulders were big, hair was bigger and there was no such thing as a fashion sin - the iconic 80s’! 

If you loved the 80’s the first time round, you’ll enjoy reliving the fashion, music and trends even more with NASDA’s stage performance of The Wedding Singer. Based on the hilarious Hollywood hit starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, this musical rom-com takes audiences for a ride back to 1985.

Robbie Hart is a larger than life character, well known as New Jersey’s number one wedding singer and the life of the party. When he’s stood up at his own wedding Robbie isn’t feeling the love like he used to, so he begins to sabotage the weddings of loved-up couples, making them disastrous events. That is, until he meets Julia, played by students Chelsea Kelly and Kate Stokes who take the stage on alternating nights. Unfortunately for Robbie, the lovely Julia is already married.

Can Robbie win Julia’s heart? You’ll have to head along to see!

NASDA’s second-year students make up the cast for the show, with every character double-cast, aside from leading man Robbie Hart, played by student Eli Davis. Davis said, “This is my first lead role in a musical and it’s a lot of fun! I’ve had so many new opportunities, including learning how to play guitar for my three songs in the show.” Although he had never played guitar before, within seven weeks of practice he’d picked it up,“It was pretty easy figuring out what sounded wrong… but it’s very hard to learn how to play!”

Playing the part of wannabe rock star Robbie also involved a new look, with Davis getting an 80’s makeover to get into character. “I’m a little bit into 80’s fashion as it is, so in the show I get to wear my own jeans and shoes. I also get to wear a jacket which the Court Theatre used in the Jersey Boys show - so that’s really awesome.” A haircut was the final element of his retro look. “I said to the barber, I need a mullet, but I also need to try look as handsome as possible, so please no shaven sides.” joked Davis.

Kate Stokes, who plays love-interest Julia, is pleased she didn’t have to do anything quite as drastic. “Julia’s the girl next door so she doesn’t wear as many crazy 80’s outfits as some other characters. But I do still have blue eyeliner, and crazy hair, which is pretty funny.” she said. “Also, I’ve spent a lot of hours trying to perfect the classic New Jersey accent, watching Real Housewives of New Jersey and studying YouTube videos.”

The original Wedding Singer movie was a cult classic a bit before Stokes’ time, but she said it’s a fun show regardless of age. “It’s a good family show. And my parents are quite happy that they can look at the show and reminisce- they’re like, ‘Oh my god, I wore than when I was younger’.”

Further information: 

For further information: Kate Bailey | | 021 279 6070


Written by

Ara Institute of Canterbury Ltd

12 Jul 2021