Wilkinson couldn’t resist dropping in comparisons to those shows and it works!  We live after all in
a culture that has come to celebrate and glamorize the bad behavior of some people in our day-to-
day.  Perhaps it’s a wink and a nod to the fact that the show is co-produced by Dina Manzo of The
Real Housewives of New Jersey fame.  Audiences will be delighted by the familiarity.  The cast is
beautifully meshed a testament to the new direction of Emmy Winning director Teresa A. Cicala,
who takes the large cast and fast pace quickly from one slap-stick antic into another.  Some
elements could stand be more present than others, but overall there’s a deep commitment by the
show’s cast and crew to keep the energy up and there are enough characterizations to entertain for
the two-hour run of the show.

Among the standouts are returning cast members from the original show Randi Kaplan and Joe
Scanio who play Anthony’s mom and dad.  I don’t think there are two other actors who could
breathe the life into these roles the way they do, and of course, Carla-Marie Mercun as “Aunt
Toniann” is back and better than ever.  Among the new kids in the cast Tricia Burns who plays
Anthony’s sister “Maria” steals the wedding with her singing and dancing moments and my favorite
would have to be the captivatingly adorable Adam Zelasko in the role of “Mario” who manages to
keep you fixated on his performance, unless Lehmkuhl is appearing on stage shirtless.  A crowd
favorite as has always been is the returning Brent Douglas who breathes new life into wedding
planner du jour “Maurizio Le Grande”.
Wilkinson and Lehmkuhl are charming as the happily wedded “brooms”, even if devilishly studly  
Fabio Taliercio “Gregorio” is hellbent on ruining the big day, and the gorgeous Liz Gerecitano
made me wish I was a lesbian as Anthony’s BFF “Lucia”.  The show delights with moments
featuring song and dance, and the occasionally acceptable break of the fourth wall, most
appropriately engineered when the hired justice of the peace is unavailable to marry the happy
couple.  Fortunately there may be a celebrity or two in the audience just up to the task!  The night I
attended the show New York City radio personality WKTU’s own Goumba Johnny presided over the
wedding of the happy grooms -- and as they say they lived happily ever after...or did they?

It's great to see the show still has it!  Audiences will enjoy it for it’s ability to provide a winning
diversion.  The play takes on the decadent atmosphere of the shows it’s parodying, as Anthony’s
wedding spirals into a train wreck that you just can’t keep your eyes off of.  It’s
.
.
.







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Out in the Tropics
Festival
June 7-11, 2010
www.ambiente.us   JUNE| JUNIO 2010

A Guest at the Wedding | My Big Gay Italian Wedding
Third Time is a Charm
By JC Alvarez

In 2003 I did something to push my own personal boundaries and answered an ad to
audition for a "gay play".  I expected it to be risky, but I was needing to do something
new and creative with my life, and although I didn’t know what to expect from the
experience, in the least I knew that “gay play” meant nudity would be a requirement.  I
was cast in the role of a Catholic priest “Father Rosalia” but I didn't anticipate that I'd be
popping out of my priestly robes night after night.  Thus was the price to pay when the
hit Off-Broadway show
My Big Gay Italian Wedding made it’s debut.

The show opened appropriately in the heart of the West Village off of Christopher Street
at the Actor’s Playhouse in an open-ended engagement.  And no one, not even our
humble little cast could have anticipated the show's winning popularity and joyous
acceptance from our audiences.  I performed in over 70 engagements of the show and
left the original cast to continue it's run of nearly 100 shows.

Since then MBGIW has had 2 more runs and the brain child of Anthony Wilkinson
returns poignantly in it's latest incarnation this season perhaps amid it's most relevant
turn Off-Broadway for a run in the heart of the Theatre District at St. Luke’s Theatre on
Restaurant Row. Among the cast we often joked that the property was just an
opportunity for Anthony to play at getting married and ultimately kiss the object of his
affection, but now amidst the debate of same
sex marriage MBGIW may be
the most potent incentive to rally
the troops and support the
cause.  And never mind that the
object of his affection this time
out is reality TV heartthrob and
winner of T
he Amazing Race
Reichen Lehmkuhl.

As camp as the script from the
original show was -- it benefitted
from Wilkinson’s own life
experiences dealing with his
own Italian family and extended
group of friends -- this revival of
the show winningly reads even
better when it's pop-culture
commentary pushes things over
the edge.  In this day and age of
reality show TV hyper-realism
and the host of characters that
have been popularized by
shows the likes of the
Jersey
Shore
and
Bravo’s various
Real
Housewives
franchise --
.
the same reason that “Snookie” on the Jersey Shore has become all the rage -- it’s expected that whatever
situation she gets herself into it’s going to end up imploding!  It’s suitably entertaining for everyone and
perhaps audeinces will walk away thinking that love should prevail for all.  
                      Touring visitors heading to NYC especially for Gay Pride this year dare not be late
                               to these nuptials!
                                You’ll be happy you came to
My Big Gay Italian Wedding the wedding event
                                of the year!  Now let’s vote to help life imitate art!

                                 
My Big Gay Italian Wedding featuring Reichen Lehmkuhl written and starring
                                Anthony Wilkinson is currently running Off-Broadway at St. Luke’s Theatre,
                               308 West 46th St., NYC.  Play dates:  Wed - Sat @ 8pm.  

                              Visiting NYC for Gay Pride and want tickets?  
                            Call (212) 239-6200 or
www.telecharge.com











            CLICK HERE for more JC Alvarez
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