MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING
By ANTHONY J. WILKINSON
Theatre Four, 424 W. 55 St., NYC
Beginning November 7, 2003 (reviewed during the run at Actor's Playhouse, NYC)
At Theatre Four Mar. 19 - August 21, 2004
Directed by PETER RAPANARO
Musical Director ROBERT LEVULIS
Scenic Design JOHN KENNY
Lighting Design BOB BESSOIR
Costume Design CHRIS MARCH
Choreography JOSEPH RITSCH
Publicity SPIN CYCLE
Concetta Maria Aliotta – JC Alvarez – Michael Batelli
Vincent Briguccia – Meridith Cullen – Brett Douglas – Bill Fischer
Laura Gaspari – Joe Grimaldi – Melanie Mara – Carla-Marie Mercun
Kevin T. Moore – Maria Nazzaro – Rocco Parente – Yvonne Roen
Joe Scanio – Nick Scarnati – Anthony Wilkinson
As the weather in New York grows cold, what could warm hearts more than an Italian wedding complete with Brooklynese, big hair and big drama? How about an eccentric, escapist, from the heart play called MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING?
A venture that is intended to please out of pure silliness and fun, this is not the type of play one need pick apart for structural flaws and plot development issues. So, lets get right on to the meat of the matter – what this play is all about. In this most timely of theatrical happenings, Anthony Pinnunziato (played by playwright Anthony Wilkinson) has proposed to Andrew Polinski (Bill Fischer), and Andrew has accepted. Being from an Italian family, Anthony finds that he must have a big, traditional wedding. Mom and Pop Pinnunziato (Maria Nazzaro, Joe Scanio), having accepted Anthony’s sexuality, are not ready to walk him down the aisle unless a few conditions are met. Mom wants the local Catholic priest to perform the service, and for Andrew’s mother to come up from Florida to give her blessing in person. Those are just the first two plot complications in MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING. We also meet Anthony’s "Broadway star" sister, bickering lesbians who used to date, a jilted gigolo who wants nothing more than to spoil the nuptials, a local guy in search of a date, the best friend known for bathroom blow jobs and an over-the-top wedding planner.
In the course of the unfolding of the marital events in MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING, there are many bumps and many laughs along the way. There are fists of fury, outright lies, betrayals, some truly outrageous fashions (courtesy of costume designer Chris March), some even more outrageous singing, and a number of genuinely punchy one-liners.
In the end, MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING is just the giddy romp one would expect. It is not brilliant theater, but reasonable, escapist entertainment, and couldn’t we all use a bit of that every now and then?
- Kessa De Santis -