Since premiering off-Broadway on Valentine’s Day 1988, “Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding” has played in hundreds of cities all across the world. But, by transferring to the big screen, can it retain the magic that has made the show a hit the past fifteen years?
For those of you not familiar with the “show,” audience members play the roles of family and friends. The all-inclusive show, which includes the show and dinner during the “reception,” takes one through one Italian-American wedding. Depending on the set up, the evening starts in a lounge for a cocktail or two, then attend the ceremony in a life-like chapel and the reception in a real banquet facility nearby. The entertainment for the evening is provided by a real wedding band, who plays a variety of “wedding tunes” such as the Hustle, the Macarena, the Chicken dance, and the Tarantella (the traditional Italian wedding dance song). For dinner, guests serve themselves at the all-you-can-eat buffet of mostacolli, Italian sausage with peppers and onions, salad, bread, and wedding cake. Guests toast the bride and groom with champagne, participate in the bouquet and garter toss and dance with the bridal party.
So why take a uniquely theatrical experience and turn it into a movier “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” of course. Two hundred and forty million dollars in ticket sales will ensure moviegoers several years of films that want to ride that bandwagon, even though cinema history has proven time and time again these bandwagoneers rarely come close to capturing that X-Factor was which made the first film so successful.
So far, only Guillermo Diaz of “Nowhere” and “Party Girl” has been cast, as Raphael the videographer. The four week production will begin in New York on June 16. No distributor is currently attached to this project.
“Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding” Scorecard
Director: Roger Paradiso
Producers: Mark Lipsky, Roger Paradiso, Michael Tadross, Tony Travis
Writer: Not announced, based on the show created by the improv comedy troupe Artificial Intelligence
Casting Director: Pat McCorkle
Shooting Dates: June 16 through July 14
Shooting Location: New York City