Archive for Thursday, July 13, 2000

Play lets you be part of the wedding party

Interactive comedy pokes fun at relationships

July 13, 2000


Tony and Tina are getting married -- and you're invited.

You can watch the ceremony from the pews in Vinnie Black's Chapel of Love (aka Lawrence Community Theatre) and then kick up your heels with the wedding party at a dinner-dance at The Flamingo Dance Academy.

You can even buy a gift -- something from the registry at Cottin's Hardware and Rental will do just fine. Think nails, lumber and paint.

Of course, no one's really getting married. The wedding's part of an interactive theater production, "Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding," that LCT is staging as a fund-raiser.

"The audience is free to interact and play with the characters, or they can sit back and watch," director Kevin Saari said. " " This is not a narrative, but an event."

What: "Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding."When: 6:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and July 21-22.Where: Lawrence Community Theatre, 1501 N.H.Tickets: Call the LCT Box Office, 843-7469.

The premise is that audience members are the guests at a big, tacky wedding that joins Tony Nunzio and Valentina Vitale in wedded bliss. The ceremony is marked by bickering family members, unexpected guests and sentimentality.

After the wedding, the audience and cast will move from LCT to the Flamingo Dance Academy, 11th and Massachusetts, for a dinner-dance reception. Swing 39 will provide music, and the dinner of Ziti, salad, Italian bread and wedding cake (vegetarian cuisine is available) will be prepared by Maceli's Marvelous Meats.

Everyone will toast the newlyweds with champagne or sparkling cider, and cash bars will be open 30 minutes prior to the wedding and throughout the reception.

And what should you wear? Anything from shorts to sequins will do.

"People can come as casual as they want, or go fancy if they want," Saari said.

Because of its interactive and improvisational nature, Saari said "Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding" is a different show every night.

"It's where the actors and the audience meet," he said. " " It's the same incidents but done differently."

But the unpredictability of the show isn't the biggest challenge for Saari and the 20-some member cast. It's pulling off the comedy without making caricatures of the characters.

"The real humor is in the family and human relationships," he said. "The more human they are, the funnier they are. " I'm most looking forward to how the audience reacts, and how the audience and the characters work with each other."

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