Winters Theatre Company presents Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding

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By Germaine Hupe

The Winters Theatre Company has selected “Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding as their spring dinner theatre production at The Palms Playhouse in Winters. There will be three performances: Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18, when doors will open at 6:30 p.m. (show beginning at 7 p.m.), and Sunday, May 19, when the doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 6 p.m. All friends and family are cordially invited to attend.

This is an audience participation play in which members of the cast will interact with the audience who are guests at the wedding. As the festivities get underway, guests will meet the wedding party, their families and their friends.

Here is an introduction to some……

Tina, the bride, works two jobs. She is a barista during the day and a bartender by night. She and Tony grew up in the same neighborhood, in New York’s Lower East Side, Little Italy. But they didn’t meet till they were older. She spilled espresso on him. He came back for more.

Tony, the groom is a jack of all trades. He grew up in his father’s business, The Animal Kingdom, a strip joint. He now manages the club.Tina is not happy about this. Tony has other talents as a skilled mechanic, he could work anywhere. But his father’s plan would be for Tony to take over the Animal Kingdom.

Josephina Vitale, the bride’s mother, is a troubled single parent. She tends to look down on most people and her condescending attitude makes her difficult to like. However, as the play progresses, she earns sympathy because of her personal struggles and her genuine love of her daughter and son.

Tony Nunzio Senior, is an important man around town. He owns The Animal Kingdom, which features chorus girls much more than it does animals, but it is a favorite watering hole in the community. He is rumored to have had mob connections, but appears to have gone straight in recent years (if one can). No one inquires into his alleged former life, for obvious reasons.

Madeline Monroe is Tony Sr’s girlfriend. She is an entertainer and stripper in his night club. Maddy has overcome a nightmare childhood and is so happy to have a real family at last. Everyone likes Maddy, who is unapologetic about her career.

Connie Mocogni, Tina’s maid of honor, is not exactly a “maid,” as she struggles to fit into her formal dress at eight months pregnant. She is street wise, but genuine as she attempts to deal with impeding motherhood and her relationship with her boyfriend, Barry, father of her child.

Donna Marsala, bridesmaid, wants to be Madonna and fancies herself as a future superstar. She considers this wedding as a potential audition and plans to command as much attention as possible, including singing a few solos.

Barry Wheeler the best man, is known as the neighborhood’s pharmacist, who supplies legal and occasional questionable medications. He is Tony’s protector. All matters pertaining to Tony must go through him at the wedding. He makes sure that everything runs smoothly.

Another groomsman is Johnny Nunzio, the younger brother of the groom. Although rather shy, Johnny imagines himself a ladies man. It’s Tony’s wedding day. Liberation day. It will be a good day to meet girls and to step out of the shadows.

Joey, the bride’s teenage brother, has a remarkable maturity and in the absence of a father he has become the man of the family. A talented musician, Joey will play for his sister’s wedding. He is a favorite of Father Mark, the parish priest, because he plays the piano at Sunday Mass and helps rehearse the choir.

Almost everyone loves Italian born Grandma Nunzio. She was raised in New York City, Little Italy. Her years and economic struggles have made her wise and kind and tolerant. She is the queen of the Nunzio family. This wedding is a send-off party for Tony, but it is also a kick-off party for her next and perhaps final battle…the quest to get Johnny, the last Nunzio boy, married as well.

No wedding would be complete without special event planners. Tony and Tina have turned to Vinnie and Loretta Black to select the delicious menu and arrange the entertainment. The couple “run the show” and make sure that everyone is happy and enjoys the food and music.

Join the Winters Theatre Company and Tony and Tina for a genuine Italian wedding at The Palms Playhouse. The Italian food will impress. The ziti pasta with spicy marinara sauce, grilled vegetables, salad, Italian bread and grilled tri-tip will all be to die for. Vinnie and Loretta know their caterers, and Anderson Catering is the best.

Tickets are $45 for dinner and a wedding. There will be a no-host bar. For tickets go to palmsplayhouse.com.  For more information call 530-795-4014 or www.winterstheatre.org.

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