Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding
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“Look around the room and you may spot a familiar face. A celebrity guest adds to the hilarity at Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding.” By Marsala Rypka

Outtakes

 

For anyone who has ever fantasized about being in show business, here is the opportunity to live out that dream as audience members step into the role of guests at the nuptials and wedding reception of Tina Vitale and Tony Nunzio.

For two hours at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, guests enjoy hilarious interaction with the bride and groom and members of their boozing, brawling families. This is improvisation at its best, which is why Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is the second-longest running show in off-Broadway history.

Tony and Tina have walked down the aisle more than 2,000 times in front of more than 450,000 guests during its seven-year run in Las Vegas alone, and still every wedding is one-of-a-kind experience. The evening offers lots of laughs, an Italian buffet dinner with champagne and the chance to shake it on the dance floor and participate in a conga line. Guests even receive a souvenir photo to remember the evening.

The show began in New York City 21 years ago, yet it takes place in the current day, which keeps it fresh and relevant.  “We’ve updated the costumes and music to suit Planet Hollywood’s younger, hipper crowd and replaced standards like Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” with more upbeat music from artists like Fergie, “ says Larry Pellegrini, the show’s original director and one of its co-creators.

But this version comes with a twist from the mind of Robert Earl co-chairman of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino who, says Pellegrini, “suggested we bring in a variety of celebrity wedding crashers which fits their Hollywood theme. So far we’ve had wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper, [singer] Tiffany, Barry Williams from The Brady Bunch and Kato Kaelin.  Each celebrity crasher plays themselves and has a back story that connects them to the show so it makes sense why they are there.”

Kaelin makes an appearance as an old friend of the Nunzio family. “I was Tony’s houseguest in Brooklyn while I auditioned for soap operas, long before I was O.J.’s houseguest,” Kaelin explains of the connection. “I talk with people, make jokes, sit in their lap and invite them to dance.”

Kaelin says he had fun with the role and improvising on the go as guests referenced his past. “One night someone shouted, ‘Did he do it?’ and I shouted back, ‘Yes, he did it. Tony got married.'”

The fast-moving show which spoofs the union of two colorful Italian families is like a three-ring circus, complete with arguments between the bride and groom and their relatives; toasts made between the best man and maid-of-honor that will have you in stitches; and even Tony smashing a piece of wedding cake into Tina’s face.

There’s also lots of hugging. “I’ve taught the cast to be Italian, to embrace a person in the meaningful way, rather than just being funny,” says Pellegrini.

“People enjoy a wide range of emotions throughout the play. Connie, the eight-month pregnant maid of honor, will ask people about their kids as well as advice about what to do for swollen ankles.”

So here’s to Tony and Tina’s everlasting love and to the wedding guests who share in their happiness…every night. Bada bing, bada boom!

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