Theatre

After hosting over 10,000 wedding crashers since opening in September 2016, one of Chicago’s longest-running smash-hit shows, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, has announced new cast members joining the wedding party, including Concetta Rose as “Tina.”  Rose has been a member of the Tony n’ Tina’s family for the past twelve years, both in New York City as well as on the National Tour. To celebrate, Chicago’s favorite soon-to-be-married couple, Tony Nunzio and Tina Vitale, are inviting the press to their wedding a second time on Sunday, May 7. Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding played an incredible 16 years during its original run in Chicago, and during that time entertained more than one million audience members of all ages.

“It’s back, and it’s a blast!” raves the Chicago Tribune. “A guaranteed good time” according to the Chicago Reader, this production of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is presented by the original New York producers, in conjunction with Chicago Theater Works, and directed by Paul Stroili, a cast member in the original Chicago production.

Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is a hilariously interactive production that is guaranteed to make guests feel like they are truly friends and family of the bride and groom. The evening starts with the wedding at Resurrection Church, 3309 North Seminary Ave., and immediately following the ceremony, guests are invited to Vinnie Black’s Coliseum (Chicago Theater Works), 1113 W. Belmont Ave, for a flashback, high-energy 80’s reception. 

The Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding cast stars a mix of new and familiar faces, including Mitchell Conti as “Anthony Angelo Nunzio Jr (Tony),” Concetta Rose as “Valentina Lynne Vitale (Tina),” Rob Johnson as “Barry Wheeler,” Jessica Rzucidlo as “Connie Macogni,” Rory Zacher as “Dominick Fabrizzi,” Robin M. Bousel as “Donna Marsala,” Serena Pomerantz as “Marina Gulino,” Andrew Mancini as “Joey Vitale,” Alisha Fabbi as “Sister Albert Maria aka Terry Vitale,” Tommy Taylor as “Tony Nunzio, Sr.,” Carrie Campana as “Madeline Monroe,” Billy Minshall as “Father Mark,” Jean Bonavita as “Michael Just,” Eustace Allen as “Sal Antonucci,” Brian Noonan as “Vinnie Black,” Micah Spayer as “Donny Dulce,” Jennifer Pompa as “Josephina Vitale,” Susan Gaspar as “Aunt Rose,” Laureen Siciliano as “Loretta Black,” Jack Gallagher as “Mikey Black,” Hillary Jiminez as “Nikki Black,” and Frank Ondorf as “Jimmy Black.  Rounding out the cast in a variety of swing roles are Jack Gallagher and Alexis Allotta.

Tickets range from $75-$79 for the two-part event, which includes the ceremony and reception, featuring an Italian-style buffet dinner and dancing to 80’s hits. Tickets for premium seating closest to the stage and dance floor are $85.  Additionally, for 2017, a new opportunity is available to sit in the VIP section with members of the family for $99 per ticket. Discounts are available for groups of 16 or more by visiting GroupTheaterTix.com or by calling 312.423.6612. Seating is limited so make your plans now.  For more information or to purchase tickets visit http://tonylovestina.com/.

 

Published in Upcoming Theatre

It's been nearly eight years since that loud, boisterous Italian nuptial celebration has left Chicago, but now "Tony N' Tina's Wedding" is back. Reworked from its 1993 through 2009 run at Piper's Alley, the wedding actually takes place at a church. The Resurrection Church, located near Belmont and Sheffield, is the perfect setting for Tony Nunzio and Tina Vitale to exchange vows with the action starting before you even enter the building. "Family members" approach “guests” as though old friends playing up the overdone Italian stereo types creating a mix of characters ranging from Rocky Balboa and gang to the housewives found in Goodfellas or Casino. A cheesy, gum-chewing wedding photographer snaps shots as guests enter the church who are then ushered to their seats. Before the wedding begins the Nunzio and Vitale clan interact with the audience and each other, already planting a very funny seed for what is to come. 

 

An abbreviated wedding then takes place complete with bridesmaids and groomsmen waltzing down the isle that is officially kicked off when Sister Albert Maria (Alisha Fabbi) leads the congregation into a soulful version of "Jesus Is Just Alright". The wedding in itself could be a show of its own with everything from the bride's ex showing up to a priest who is more than a bit overboard with his Mr. Rogers-like analogies. 

 

The "I dos" are said and the crowd is ushered out of the church for a quick block and a half walk to Chicago Theatre Works, or in this case, "Vinnie Black's Coliseum" for a reception one would be pressed to forget. As the brief trek to the restaurant is made, cast members stay in character mingling with guests, drawing them into hilarious conversations. 

 

Already a highly entertaining and unique experience, the fun really goes into high gear at the reception where guests are assigned to round dining tables, the wedding party seated center room for all to see. Family members are constantly popping by, drawing attendees into humorous conversations as though we go way back with them. All the ingredients are in place for hilarious wedding celebration to remember. There's the ditzy stripper, a drunken father, a surly mother, a priest who drinks too much, a smarmy wedding singer, a jealous ex-boyfriend, an over-the-top restaurant owner who acts as the evening's emcee. Fights break out between families, grandma is mistakenly deemed dead after falling down and guests join in with the cast for a crazy night of dancing that includes a conga line. Before long one almost forgets they are at a play.

 

Mitchell Conti is perfectly cast as Tony as is Hannah Aaron Brown as Tina, so many funny moments exchanged by the two along with other family members and wedding "guests" (us). The cast does a great job at getting guests to interact naturally. For example, while so much is going on at all times in different areas throughout the room, an argument breaks out next to me between a bridesmaid and groomsman, apparently a couple, when one accuses the other of "grinding" on another guest near the dance floor. "Did you see her? Did you think she was grinding on the guy?" My response in hand alters their own reaction as I quickly find myself refereeing the two who finally simmer down and see stars for each other once again. Fun stuff like that. 

 

I praise this talented cast who really has to be on top of their improv game for the entire two and a half hours - even in the bathroom! I can't imagine it an easy task to interact with strangers for an entire evening, playing off so well the many curve balls they are thrown. 

 

Paul Stroili wonderfully directs this new reworked version of "Tony N' Tina's Wedding", a former cast member himself during the show's previous Chicago run, as he took on the role of Vinny Black to which the mantle has now been passed to Brian Noonan who tackles the colorful character with such command. 

 

"Tony N' Tina's Wedding" is a unique ceremony/celebration full of laughs and good times through and through. It's actually a wedding one can really look forward to attending for once (I know I'll hear it for that one later). By the end of the night you almost get the feeling you know the Nunzio's and Vitale's. 

 

"There's a hot tub party afterwards!" I was told by a groomsman on his way out. "Don't forget your speedo!"

 

"Tony N' Tina's Wedding" is currently being performed at Resurrection Church (3309 N Seminary) for the service then the reception moves to Chicago Theatre Works (1113 W Belmont) just over a block away. For tickets and/or more show information visit www.TonyLovesTina.com.

 

*Note - a full pasta entree is provided along with a cash bar.  A Vegetarian option is available by making a request to "Vinny Black" upon entering the reception area.

 

Published in Theatre Reviews

 

 

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