As a fan of theater, improv, and weddings, I was elated to have an all-in-one experience while attending Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding on Saturday night. I’ve heard tell of this show over the years and knew that it was an immersive/interactive play about a young couple getting married and the crazy family and friends that are part of the big day. But, I didn’t know exactly what to expect upon walking up to Resurrection Church in Lakeview.
My friend and I were immediately greeted by a woman yelling at us to be careful coming up the steps. This woman turned out to be Tina’s mother, and it was evident how immersive this actually is. “Careful coming up the steps! Careful!” she yelled at us. “Why aren’t you holding her hand?” she asked my friend. “You want her to fall?”
Once inside, we were seated near Tony’s family and watched as “Sal,” the photographer, attempted to capture the day. “You do a lot of these weddings?” I asked. “Nah, this is my first one,” he responded. “Just bought this camera from some kid at the 7-11.” The ceremony began and the key players were introduced; besides Tony and Tina, you had Tony’s drunken groomsmen and Tina’s promiscuous bridal party, Tony’s outspoken father and his much younger girlfriend, and Tina’s cousin, Terri, who’s soon to be a nun and leads the church in singing “Jesus Is Just Alright With Me.”
The ceremony carries on as any Catholic wedding does. Once the couple says “I do” everyone then ventures a few blocks down to “Vinny Black’s Coliseum” for the reception. Again, this has a feel of any other reception, equip with a cash bar, dinner, and cake. It also includes the best part of any wedding reception – dancing. One of the highlights of the show is “Donnie Dolce” the celebrity-in-his-own-mind wedding singer. There are toasts, laughter, and tears as the reception plays out. It becomes clear that Tony and Tina love to party, and the cast is there to make sure that everyone is having a good time.
Another highlight of the evening was watching a real-life couple get engaged with the help of Tony, Tina, & Co. Being that the cast is made up of improv players, I got the impression that no two shows are exactly alike. Overall, the show had fun characters and some hilarious one-liners. The only downside was that there were a few things happening at once, so it may have been easy to miss something here and there. It was a different form of entertainment from that of your standard play, but made you feel as though you’re part of the fun.
Photos all courtesy of ‘Sal.’