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'Tony n' Tina's Wedding' is back in New York City

Guiding the crowd to the reception after the wedding ceremony in Times Square
Guiding the crowd to the reception after the wedding ceremony in Times Square
Photo by Karen Nowosad

Maybe someone noticed that something significant was missing in the New York City theater offerings. Or maybe someone realized a new generation needed to see what all the fuss had been about. Whatever the reason is, get ready, yes "Tony n' Tina's Wedding" is back and this 25th Anniversary production is funny, funny, funny. It definitely is a very special and unique theater experience.

What makes this show so special is that being in the audience is like being a guest at a real wedding. The cast goes all out to make sure you are included in the goings on. You won’t be embarrassed or forced to do some wild dancing or singing. No, instead, you get to watch it unfold with the cast intermingling with you and filling you in on the details and “behind the scenes information.”

Your show starts at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School (120 West 46th Street). If you recognized the address, you probably remember that this was the building formerly known as the Performing Arts High School on which the movie and TV show “Fame” was based. You won’t see a traditional box office or even a table setup for ticket pickup. Instead, you will be welcomed by some of the bridal party and directed to someone who checks your ticket reservation and gives you something resembling a response card to confirm the number in your party and your table number for the reception.

As you are getting seated, the action is already occurring. Members of the bride and groom’s families are walking around talking with you. You'll meet the cousin who is a nun and maybe even the grandmother or the groom's father's girlfriend. Finally, the bridal party comes in chewing their wads of gum and dressed in attire that might be better found at a junior prom that had a sale on 80's style dresses. This is high styling for them as one of their own is getting hitched. As the bride and groom take their places on the stage for the ceremony, the cameraman is clicking away and a video man is as well. Keep your eyes on the video man throughout the ceremony and throughout the show as his antics are hilarious. And of course, no wedding would be complete without a few family issues rearing their ugly head and that happens here. Between the bride’s mother screaming for her deceased husband, the antics of the bridal party, and the mispronunciations in the readings, well, you just feel like you’re at the real thing.

At the end of the ceremony, you leave as a group to walk through Times Square to Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar (220 West 44th Street) to attend the reception. It’s not as easy as it sounds as you might be walking through Times Square right at the time that the rest of the world is heading for a Broadway curtain. However, the cast manages to safely get everyone there. There are signs being held up and Italian flags in the air to guide your way. It’s doubtful that the throngs of people in Times Square even realize you are a part of show taking place right in front of their eyes.

Tomorrow: The Reception at "Tony n' Tina's Wedding"