Beverly FriendREVIEWSTheatre Reviews

Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding

Produced by Corcoran Productions Lourdes Lonergan.

in association with Bill Collins and Chicago Theater Works.

Directed by Paul Stroili.

Here Comes the Bride, the Groom, Family, Friends, and YOU!


If I hadn’t once attended a family wedding where a photographer, swathed
in cameras, backed up into a whirlpool, I would not have believed how
outrageous a wedding calamity can be. Unexpected, disastrous (even
hilarious) moments often occur during nuptials — both in truth and in

Tony and Tina’s Italian-American Wedding and Reception, filled with
mishaps and contention, makes a most welcome return to Chicago after an
eight-year absence. This interactive drama closed at Piper’s Alley in 2008
after a successful 16-year run. This remounting will only be here until
Dec 30 — so if you missed the first time around, hurry to get tickets.
In fact, you may want to see it more than once because one of the delights
is that the material is so improvisational that no two weddings are
exactly alike.

You and a guest are cordially invited to Resurrection (a real) Church at
3309 Seminary Ave, for a ceremony where you will join two families nearly
as hostile as the Montague’s and the Capulet’s. Meet the embittered mother
of the bride (Mary McHale), the flirtatious father of the groom (Tommy
Taylor), an incontinent grandmother (Marssie Mencotti), a pregnant
bridesmaid (Luciana Bonifazi), a singing neophyte nun (Alisha Fabbi), and
a wacky bridal party surrounding the lovely bride (Hannah Aaron Brown) and
handsome groom (Michael Conti).


Once the knot is tied, the entire gathering heads out for a
block-and-a-half walk down Seminary to Belmont to a reception at Vinnie
Black’s Coliseum (aka Chicago Theater Works transformed into a glittery

Here, 170 guests are treated to music, dancing, entertainment, champagne
and a buffet pasta dinner served with amazing efficiency (and, of course,
a delicious wedding cake). There is also a cash bar — which led to the
authenticity of some tipsy family and guests. Tony n’ Tina’s
Wedding has been staged in over 200 locations — worldwide — and also
made into a 2004 movie. Doubtless, it is playing in other US cities right
now and was marked number 88 out of 239 Las Vegas attractions by
TripAdviser.  And you can see it right here!

Under the fine direction of Paul Stroili, the large Chicago cast of 23 is
terrific — capturing all the nuances of a family gathering, complete with
vulgarities and squabbles. Stroili was a member of the Original Chicago
Company. Vinnie (Brian Noonan) is a very believable restaurateur, hosting
the gathering, touting its virtues as he tries to promote future business,
and emceeing the various entertainers.  A good time was had by all.

Recommended — especially for those who love weddings (and who doesn’t?).
Beverly Friend, PHD.
Member American Critics Assn.

Cautions: Resurrection Church is not handicapped accessible. Rest rooms
are down a steep flight of stairs. The walk between church and reception
may also be difficult.

Resurrection Church, 3309 N. Seminary and Chicago Theater Works, 1113 W.
Belmont. 773-327-3778. Tickets &75 for the
two-part event, $85 for premium seating at the reception. Fridays at 7:30,
Saturdays at 8:30, Sundays at 5 until Dec. 30.