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Hannah Brown as Tina and Mitchell Conti as Tony
Review: TONY N’ TINA’S WEDDING at Chicago Theater Works
By Hilary Holbrook
I love a good wedding. The thought of two people coming together and starting a new life is exciting, heartwarming, and all the pleasant adjectives you can think of. However, I’m not sure that I would attend a wedding for fun—and that’s the exact premise for Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding. But, just because it’s not my idea of an ideal Friday night, it doesn’t mean I didn’t have a good time.
The show is an interactive night beginning with the ceremony (held in Resurrection Lutheran Church) and ending at the fictional reception hall (Chicago Theatre Works) owned by Vinnie Black (Brian Noonan). As you can imagine, antics ensue, and, without giving too much away, let’s just say the Vitale Family and the Nunzio Family are two sets of colorful characters that don’t exactly play well together. Guests are treated to a buffet meal, live music, full bar, and more stories than your last family Christmas. My only critique of the night is a minor dealing with the time period for the play. The show was conceived in 1988, and this rendition, set in present day, tried to accommodate for that fact by advertising that Tina’s mother suggested the wedding be 80s attire (a fact that I would not know had I not read a poster). I figured we were in the 80s, but that explained the conflicting technology. A cousin had an old VHS recorder, while the father of the groom had an iPhone. The premise of the show is fun and entertaining, but I think there is a more cohesive way to update the storyline to better incorporate the modern day.
There’s a lot to take in with this piece, and the cast did a fantastic job of moving the story along and wrapping up the night. Anyone with an adventurous side, who loves a good wedding, digs the 80s, and enjoys some good improv, should definitely be there when Tony ‘n Tina say “I do.”