Arts and Entertainment

Summer Teen Musical 'The Wedding Singer' opens Friday

Summer Teen Musical cast members Ryan Hann and Audrey Montague perform a scene from
Summer Teen Musical cast members Ryan Hann and Audrey Montague perform a scene from 'The Wedding Singer' at the Fabulous Fourth celebration.
— image credit: Brian Beckley, Renton Reporter

If it wasn’t for the Renton Civic Theatre’s Summer Teen Musical, 15-year-old Audrey Montague would not have an outlet for her acting pursuits.

“I just love the environment of working with teens and stuff because I go to an online high school, so I don’t have a lot of socializing with friends,” she said.

Montague is one of 20 students in this summer’s production of “The Wedding Singer,” and plays one of the main character’s, Julia. The production opens August 1 and runs through August 10 at Renton Civic Theatre.

It tells the tale of Robbie Hart, New Jersey’s favorite wedding singer, who is left at the alter by his fiancee. He later falls for the “winsome” Julia, who is about to get married to a Wall Street shark — unless Robbie can do something about it.

“My favorite way to describe Julia is a goofball,” said Montague. “She’s just so, like, all over the place and she loves everything. She’s just so much fun.”

Nineteen-year-old Kiera Stevens plays some minor parts in “The Wedding Singer” and Julia’s mom. This is her sixth and final summer with the program. She calls the Summer Teen Musical program her “family” and “home.”

“A program can change a lot throughout a long time,” said Stevens. “There’s been a lot of bad stuff with a lot of the shows and a lot of really good stuff with the shows. No two shows have been the same even with the same director. It changes a lot depending on the dynamic of the directors.”

Stevens wants to join the staff of the program after she graduates from it, but for now she’s pursuing a double major in psychology and theatre at Pacific Lutheran University.

“One of the great things about this program is that we get to hire professional theatre people to work with the kids,” said Vincent Orduna, director. “The tragedy about that is their professional life interrupts.”

“The Wedding Singer” was chosen this year by professional actor Matthew Posner, but he got called away to San Diego to do “Les Miserables.” Orduna, who’s been with the program for 16 years doing artistic oversight, stepped in about a month-and-a-half ago.

“For the kids as well as getting their own educational component, they get to work with people who can actually talk to them about what it’s like to be a working performer,” Orduna said. “And I think that’s one of the unique things about our program.”

Orduna has never seen the movie made famous by Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, but said he fell in love with the script and the kids are having a blast performing it.

About half of the student actors are local; a lot coming from Fairwood and Renton and others from Newcastle and Bellevue.

“The Wedding Singer” opens Aug. 1 and runs through Aug. 10. For show times and ticket information visit www.rentoncivictheatre.org

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