Cugine Corner - The Johnny Meatballs Blog
Cugine Corner - The Johnny Meatballs Blog
Salud' for T N T!
I’m getting married this Labor Day Weekend to my fiancé, Megin, and we are planning the ultimate extravaganza. “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” was an exaggerated extravaganza—to say the least—but this off-Broadway riot is an affair you’d want to get an invite to. And if our guests have half as much fun as we did at “Tony n’ Tina’s,” it’s gonna be pretty insane.
Hopefully there won’t be any dancing on table tops, drunken priests or fist-fight between the bridesmaids on our big day, but I do foresee there being some similarities between this fictional celebration and mine.
Well, maybe not, except for the fact that we’ll be doing it up Italian style, with that East-Coast passion that definitely will be as entertaining as a campy musical or one of those zany reality shows! Mark my words on that one.
This was not like any play I’ve ever seen before, it was actually as if we were guests at a real wedding. Granted, there were things that took place that one would pray to have not occur if this was actually the real thing (like, that drunken priest), but I definitely can’t complain about everyone’s enthusiasm! I give those actors a heck of a lot of credit to be able to do this over and over again—I mean if you didn’t know any better you actually would think you were at a real banquet hall—only with an open bar where the drinks are poured with a very heavy hand. Maddone, I certainly want to duplicate that kind of energy. Whether you are engaged or not, I’d definitely recommend heading over to NYC to check this out.
My bride-to-be and I, along with her parents, Joyce and Ed, and Joyce’s visiting houseguests from Chattanooga and Minnesota all piled into a Suburban last weekend, and we were all ushered into Manhattan’s Sweet Caroline comedy club to celebrate my twenty-ninth birthday—one I’ll never forget…
I’m no theater critic, but this was far better than that snoozefest “Mamma Mia” (sorry, Abba), and right up there with “Jersey Boys” and “Saturday Night Fever,” two of my favorite productions in recent years. It’s that relatable, Italian-Catholic, East Coast, old-school retro vibe that I just love, and truly identify with. I could easily have a role in this, even “Vinnie Black,” the maître d' said so!
My only knowledge of “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” was from seeing the 2004 movie starring Joey McIntyre (New Kids on the Block) and Mila Kunis (“That ‘70s Show”), and that’s a flick worth seeing. It’s not your average romantic-comedy, it’s a hilarious depiction of two very different Long Island Italian families and their pending nuptials. There’s lots of drama, but lots of laughs. The play version has been running for over twenty years, and although the cast may not be well-known, I guarantee you it is equally as hilarious. The best thing about it is that it’s totally interactive, you participate the whole time—like it, or not. These East Coast paisans partied like it’s 1989.
We started with saying grace, which was actually a sing-a-long pre-dinner ditty directed by a nun, followed by a champagne toast and then our meal of salad, bread, rigatoni with chunks of chicken, and of course, a piece of cake. The whole time, a live band led by “Donnie Dulce” sang tunes from Sinatra to disco to Bon Jovi, and everything in between. All the usual traditions of an actual wedding played out, from the first dance of the newlywed couple to the throwing of the garter belt.
There were plenty of interesting twists, that’s for sure. The bridesmaids included a pregnant woman about to drop twins and an 8-foot giant who could easily play for the Knicks. The best man gave a speech you couldn’t forget if you tried, and the rest of the groomsmen rocked out on the dance floor like a team of Tony Maneros. If you want to get down, go all out and just be silly for a few hours on a Saturday night, this is the place to do it. Politically correct? Not in the slightest. Wild and crazy? Absolutely. But “T N’ T” had a little something for the whole family, there were a lot of sweet moments amidst all the nuttiness. You must see it to believe it. I ate, drank, danced and did the YMCA in a cowboy hat—all of which I plan on doing when I tie the knot this September. (Maybe minus the cowboy hat.)