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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wedding Party

Theater Review

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 Kind of like going to the wedding of your second cousin once removed (or is it twice-removed?), Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is good, dysfunctional family fun. It ran through April 20 at the Turner Hall Ball.

 The scenario goes something like this:You’re seated at a table with a bunch of people you don’t know but with whom you interact cordially, and before you know it the show begins.As wedding “guests,” the audience has a role to play, too.Members of the wedding party wander the crowd giving hugs, making small talk, and gossiping about family secrets.This sets the tone for the remainder of the production:some of it is scripted, some not.

 The father of the groom, Anthony Nunzio Sr. (Mark Lonteen) shows up with his bleach-blonde stripper girlfriend, Madeline Monroe (Amber Rae Halama).Her short gold lam dress isn’t long enough and her fishnet stockings are not opaque enough to cover her leopard-print panties.

 Sister Albert Maria (Marilyn Reles), Tina’s cousin, tries to keep the matrimonial ceremony close to God.Even when her “gift of song” (a number entitled “Jesus is Just Alright”) for the happy couple breaks into the chorus of “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” she maintains her dedication to the heavenly father by amending the lyrics to “put another dime in the jukebox, Jesus.”

 Tony (Matt Saccomanno) and Tina (Laura Giannone) play the roles of the newly wedded couple.Just after the two exchange vows, “Another One Bites the Dust” is piped into the hall and guests toast with their glasses of Asti.

 The wedding singer, Donny Dulce (Danny Prata), in his lime-green suit with tight pants a la David Lee Roth (circa’80’s Van Halen days), does a great job of entertaining the crowd, even without removing his sunglasses.Ever.

 The cast includes actors who travel with the production as well as local talent.The audience is treated to a catered meal and there is a brawl between Tony and Michael (Tina’s ex who crashes the wedding, played by Arturo Mesa), and the bouquet is done to the tune of “Pretty Woman.”Dinner theater arrives at a new level with this production.

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