Tony and Tina, played by Jayden Baldry and Kai Hall (centre) were married by Father Mark (Ben Garneau, right), as the bride’s sister, Sister Albert Maria (Aimbree Bystrom) looks on. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe)

Review: RDC’s Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is a wacky, surreal party

The “immersive” play’s run is already a sell-out

Let’s face it, all weddings are good theatre.

Participants dress up in lavish costumes, recite scripted lines in front of an audience, and (thanks to alcohol) transform from wallflowers to wild partiers at the swing of a garter.

The slightly surreal nuptial experience has been bottled in Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, an Artificial Intelligence production, conceived by Nancy Cassaro, which opened its sold-out run on Wednesday in Studio A of the Red College Arts Centre.

The two-hour “immersive theatre” presentation — in which the cast treats audience members like invited wedding guests — proves that emotional, over-the-top marriages can produce the best kind of comedy and/or drama.

The preview performance of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding was a highly entertaining affair. Audience members happily joined in the chicken dance one moment and gasped at the scandalous behaviour of the wedding party the next.

The mother of the bride fainting? The father of the groom’s stripper girlfriend table dancing? Suffice it to say it was fun people-watching at this wedding ceremony and reception.

Although every performance will be slightly different since this dysfunctional Italian wedding is really a loosely scripted improvisation, some kind of pent-up ‘scene’ is guaranteed to unfold.

Among the characters in this first-year production — guest directed by professional improviser Karen Johnson-Diamond — is the bride’s ex-boyfriend (Tyler Whillans), who’s just out of rehab. There’s a very pregnant bridesmaid (Alexandra Creedon) and other promiscuous, chewing gum-chomping members of the wedding party.

There are also in-laws with secrets. Shelby Anderson’s Mother of the Bride just might have a thing for the Father of the Groom (well played by James Walker).

You get the idea.

Most performances were pretty credible, considering there was nary an Italian name in the program. Some actors could have gone bigger with their portrayals. But among the standouts are the happy couple: Jayden Baldry as excitable Tony Nunzio and Kai Hall as his spoiled bride, Tina Vitale.

Mickey Cacho was terrific as racy girlfriend Madeline Monroe. Ben Garneau depicted ‘hip’ Father Mark of St. Pacino’s Parish, while Caleb Harrison portrayed irrepressible Uncle Luigi, who didn’t let his dependence on a walker get in the way of a trip to Sobey’s.

The multi-talented wedding planner was played by Eithan Moench, while Brett Nixon was D.J. Donny Dulce, who knew to crank up the volume to diffuse awkward situations.

Anybody with an invitation/ticket to Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is in for wacky time. The thing to remember is, the more you put into it (in terms of playing along with the cast) the more fun you will get out of it.

Just Posted

La Loche school shooter carried out plan with ‘stark efficiency:’ Crown

MEADOW LAKE, Sask. — A Saskatchewan judge is weighing whether a teenager… Continue reading

Castor triple-murder trial resumes on Monday

Trial was delayed two weeks for two men accused of killing Castor-area family

Red Deer Royals are sending 1,000 letters to Trudeau

The band must pay for the last 20 per cent of fieldhouse costs

Central Alberta real estate market reflects Alberta’s slow recovery

Real estate markets will bounce back but incoming mortgage changes don’t help, say realtor groups

Lorinda Stewart recounts bargaining for her daughter’s life in new memoir

Amanda Lindhout’s mom will speak in Red Deer on Nov. 4

UPDATED: Look no further than Westerner Park for renovation ideas

Red Deer Home Renovation & Design Show runs Friday to Sunday

Friday Oct. 21: Winning Lotto Numbers

Friday, October 20, 2017 LOTTO MAX Winning Numbers 1 4 12 27… Continue reading

New northbound Hwy 2 lanes at Gaetz Avenue to open this Sunday

Drivers heading north through Red Deer on Hwy 2 will have a… Continue reading

Sockey Night at Saturday’s Rebels game

United Way Central Alberta is determined to provide warm feet for all… Continue reading

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Owner of medical marijuana dispensaries challenges constitutionality of law

The law under which the owner of two medical marijuana dispensaries was… Continue reading

Victim in fatal ammonia leak remembered for his passion and smile

Friends and colleagues remember Lloyd Smith as someone who was always willing to help people

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month