Chaos Attraction

Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding, Our Version

2019-05-26, 1:09 p.m.

I don’t have much to say about today. I went to Dress Barn one last time with Mom (didn’t find anything), drove home midway through the day so that she could go off with Roger, went to Claire’s on the way home because Mom now wants a fake temporary tattoo of a butterfly because Roger said she should get one(!) and picked a sheet of those up, and then drove home and went to two different libraries looking for books on how to perform Shakespeare because I was dreaming of auditioning for that show last night. I hiked around to get my steps in once the rain stopped (it was very off and on all the way home) and then spent the night writing up a list of all the funny cast quotes and then a writeup of how our version of Tony n’ Tina was performed. So tonight's entry is just going to be a description of how our show went, as opposed to how others might do it or what is in the script.

Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding, Winters Theater Company Version 2019:

The Cast:


* Valentina (Tina), the bride. As the song goes, “My girl wants to party all the time.” Starts out as a nice dancing party girl and unravels as the night goes on. She misses her dad.
* Josephine (Mrs. V), the bride’s mother. Still is crying over the death of her husband Vito. Is Very Particular about how she wants things. Loves to dance and party and the song “Day By Day” in particular. Dislikes Nunzio’s girlfriend. Used to date Nunzio in high school.
* Joey, the bride’s brother. A gay choreographer. Sweet fellow. Engineers surprises for his sister. Probably the most well behaved person in the entire wedding party.
* Sister Albert Maria, formerly known as Terry: Tina’s cousin, a beginner nun, became a nun RIGHT after a one-night stand with Dominic when he and Donna were “on a break,” still has a crush.


* Anthony Nunzio, Jr. (Tony), the groom. Nice guy, rather bro-ish, kinda ends up putting up with a lot before he explodes.
* Anthony Nunzio, Sr, the groom’s father. Former mob “pipe guy” turned strip club owner, dating one of his employees, and ignoring her to come onto his high school ex Josie. Kind of a jerk.
* Madeline Monroe: Nunzio’s girlfriend, stripper/choreographer/manager of the club. Very nice lady, not deserving of the behavior Nunzio is displaying towards her. Breaks out into sexy dances periodically.
* Johnny Nunzio, the groom’s brother/groomsman #2. Nice guy, rather shy, likes to bro it up too with the other bros.
* Grandma Nunzio, the groom’s grandmother. Nice lady, enthusiastic, gets treated like crap by her son.

Bridal Party (Girls):

* Connie: Maid of honor, about 7 months pregnant, cheerfully bouncy and not giving a shit and happily rolling through life. Dating Barry.
* Donna: Bridesmaid #1, wants to be MoH, thinks she’s gonna be a star someday, ambitious, would probably cut a bitch. Dating Dominic VERY off and on since about age 8, one of those couples who are always hot n’ cold.
* Marina: Bridesmaid #2, the awkward one that doesn’t fit in. Her date never showed up. We tell her Johnny is her date, as Grandma is interested in fixing him up anyway. Who knows if Johnny would be interested, he’s as shy as her.

Bridal Party (Boys):

* Barry: Best man. Drug dealer. Dating Connie. Acts more like Michael’s best man/bodyguard somehow.
* Dominic: Groomsman #1, dating Donna, see above. The enforcer/protector/bouncer/Captain Save-A-Ho of the bunch of bros.

Everyone Else:

* Michael: Tina’s ex. Used to be her guidance counselor in high school “but I waited until she was 18.” Did it once in a car. Somehow still isn’t over it yet. Mrs. V, apparently having no clue on their sexual relationship, invited him to the wedding. Everyone else wonders why he did that. Barry takes him in hand and plies him with substances to keep him occupied. Uh-huh.
* Father Mark: The priest. Very nice guy. Too polite to say no to booze. Can’t hold his liquor and he gets poured a lot of liquor.
* Sal: The wedding photographer, friendly lady, likes the ponies.
* Vinnie Black: The emcee/stand-up comedian/caterer who thinks he runs the wedding venue “Vinnie Black’s Coliseum.” Thinks he’s Frank Sinatra, is really Henny Youngman.
* Loretta Black (me): Vinnie’s wife, caterer, actual owner of the Coliseum because god only knows how Vinnie would lose it at gambling otherwise. The only sane woman, actually running things around here.
* Celeste and Trevorino: The pianist and drummer, who don’t really have lines in the show so you probably won’t hear much about them after this. Celeste plays whatever you need very well, Trevorino does an excellent job of punctuating Vinnie’s bad jokes with drums.

The Wedding Ceremony:

Sister Albert Maria hands out song lyrics and coaches people in singing three words: “day by day.” The boys come into the room, very loudly. Nunzio tries to pass his mother off to his girlfriend. Josie cries over Vito and I make sure she’s got Kleenex available.

Everyone does the procession down the aisle. Donna and Connie are chewing gum but Mrs. V only spots Donna doing it and forces her to remove it. With Connie, she seems to focus on getting Sal to photograph Connie from the boobs up. Connie cares not. Tony and Tina kneel on the stage and are eventually allowed to sit in chairs on the stage.

Father Mark’s wedding lecture is on the theme of “We are the Church,” meaning everyone in the audience. Some are on board with this (Grandma), others just find it amusing (the groomsmen). Michael walks in late and Father Mark greets him heartily and calls him out, everyone else “in the know” gets a bad feeling about this. Michael sits somewhere in the audience and feels awkward.

Some people do Bible readings. Joey reads the Corinthians Bible passage about “love is patient, love is kind,” “childish things” and “love endures.” Connie, in all her super pregnant glory (and having to have Barry help her up the stairs), reads the Ecclesiastes Bible passage about a virtuous wife whose skill puts flesh on her husband’s bone...s, the worth of her chastity, and generally soups it up to sound as dirty and ironic as possible. After her last line about a well-ordered home, she likes to finish it off with her own remark of, “So clean up your shit.”

Father Mark continues to talk about the joys of marriage, like when Tina brings the Camaro home on the back of a tow truck and Tony flakes out on dinner to go drink with the boys. Love endures.

Tony and Tina do their own readings. Tina wrote a poem, or possibly Joey did because he prompts her at some point. It is a very simple poem. I have no idea what Tony was saying because half of it was mumbled and then he blasts the microphone.

Sister Albert Maria leads everyone in the singing of the song “Day By Day” from Godspell. This is clearly Mrs. V’s favorite song, as she sways, waves hands, and gets up and basically dances like she’s in a revival of some sort.

The vows happen. “If there is any just cause...” Father Mark says. Michael kinda wants to speak, but various people, especially Nunzio Sr. and Dominic, give him the Evil Glare until he shuts up. Father Mark pronounces the couple man and wife, and everyone heads down the aisle again.

Tina and Connie are whisked offstage, everyone else kind of hangs around while Vinnie and Loretta and whoever else moves the stage stairs, set up the bridal table, passes out snacks, etc. Sal takes photos. Barry buddies up to Michael to watch over him, which by Barry’s definition is probably not great for Michael’s “1-2 weeks” of sobriety. Dominic and Donna do the Lambada. Mrs. V has Michael sit close to her, which is also not a great idea.

The Reception:

Vinnie and Loretta hit the stage, Vinnie to be the emcee and Loretta to keep Vinnie remembering what bits go in what order, repeatedly.

The bridal party dramatically walks back into the ceremony, with emcee Vinnie Black announcing the couples. Josie preens. Marina and Johnny are awkward, Dom and Donna strut like hell, Connie and Barry saunter, Tony and Tina go down an archway formed by the bridal party twice and then slap hands and bump bellies and whatnot in celebration.

It’s time for the first dance for the bride and groom! This starts with a romantic “Thinking Out Loud” and then cuts to “Push It,” which becomes the dance number from Friends of the two of them doing some fake face-slaps, finger guns, Tony leaping over Tina and Tony rolling on the ground and Tina stepping on him and making muscle arms by the end. It is a delight.

Loretta steps up to lead everyone in the first group dance number because she has mentally declared herself “dance captain.” She has to spell out that when the proud parents join the newlyweds on the dance floor, each should dance with their new in-law. They seem confused at this. The bridal party is asked to jump on in. Then everyone is told that “it’s snowball time,” which Loretta has to explain because people have no effing idea what a snowball dance is. It means that those on the floor need to look for new partners that they can rope into on the dance floor, and then later everyone gets into a big ol’ circle around TnT. The dance is done to “How Deep Is Your Love,” a song that goes on for about fifteen years until the DJ eventually cuts it, thank god.

Time for more upbeat music for everyone! “Jump in the Line,” anyone? Joey takes Grandma Nunzio for a dance, she falls, Mrs. V declares that Grandma has died because Mrs. V despite having a dead husband has no idea how death works, Tony announces that she’s not dead, Loretta yells that nobody dies at our weddings. The big brawny men lift up Grandma and sit her down, and Nunzio yells at Joey and makes him feel like shit and Tina grumbles about Grandma just seeking attention.

“Shut Up And Dance With Me” plays and Loretta tries to distract people by getting them back on the dance floor, trying to get Joey to dance, etc. Sal is trying to do her job and get a bunch of photographs at the bridal table, which Tina is not enjoying either. Connie and Barry make out SUPER excessively and messily at the bridal table, with Barry losing parts of his wardrobe and Connie shoving her leg on top of the table. Vinnie and Loretta watch this and snark, “if she wasn’t pregnant already...”

The song ends abruptly when Vinnie decides they’d better get moving on the food and toasts and blessings and whatnot, to the whining of Tina and the bridesmaids.

Vinnie wants to do his “Champagne Ceremony,” which he claims to not have done since 1971 with Joey Heatherton’s wedding. This involves Vinnie marching around with a sword-cane off the stage and in a square, bowing at the corners periodically and to the bridal party, and Loretta being forced to follow him around doing same only with a champagne bottle. Loretta is clearly not enjoying this spectacle like Vinnie is. The champagne actually being poured is a relief for the bridal party, at least.

Then come the wedding toasts. The toasts are as follows:

* Barry gives a heartfelt/possibly quite wasted toast mentioning that he and Connie were “talkin” in bed last night and “somethin’ popped out of my mouth” that he will be TnT’s best man for life. Whatever that means. Loretta carries her own flask at weddings and does a spit take on stage during that moment.

* Also inspired to do a toast is Tony, who does a decent one about hoping Tina can put up with him, followed by Tina, who mentions her favorite singer (Beyonce) and video (Crazy in Love) in declaring hers for Tony. This will recur again later. TnT make out.

* Nunzio tells TnT to break up the kissing, sniping that “it don’t get no better” from here even as he tries to nicely welcome Tina into the family. Because Nunzio gets to toast, Josie wants to jump in and do one too, and starts sobbing about dead Vito again. Michael decides it’s open mike time and comes up with the deep and profound toast of “Wherever you go, there you are.” We’re all thankful it wasn’t something worse.

Joey and Sister have a present for TnT: it’s a papal blessing directly from the Pope! Hooray! Oh, wait, the pope spelled Tony’s name as “Antinio.” Loretta helpfully yells out that that is their portmanteau name. There is debate as to whether or not the blessing is still holy, whether or not this is what comes from having a non-Italian pope, is this a sin, etc. Grandma Nunzio wants to see the blessing and kisses it, leading to commentary about whether or not she slobbers on it.

Speaking of blessings, Father Mark is called in to bless the food. This is followed by Vinnie’s long explanation of how he home grows the food with love and other spices and it’s “orgasmically grown” (Loretta later reassures various diners that this is NOT the case) and that the salad is called “Lettuce Alone Tonight,” GET IT? We get it, Vinnie.

Loretta gives instructions as to how to walk toward a buffet table, slightly praising Josie and her “wonderful family” and slightly dissing the Nunzios (really just Tony Sr. since he kinda acts like a jerk in her opinion) as she tells them to go first. Loretta then has to escort every table individually to go to the buffet when the line is not so big. This keeps her occupied from not seeing when the Nunzio half of the bridal party starts chucking bread and having a food fight. Nunzio starts making move on Mrs. V, Sal takes pics at the table, Sister and Tina go hang out alone.

Donna asks Vinnie if she can sing later and turns on the flirt. Dom is unthrilled at this. A three way loud fight breaks out. Loretta rolls her eye, hits the bar and stays the hell out of it because she’s learned from experience to stay out of wedding brawls. This will be a useful skill for her tonight.

While Tony is distracted at the bar, Tina and Michael’s song (“I Don’t Know Much”) plays and they dance together. This is probably not a good idea either. Nunzio gets some shot glasses and pours shots for everyone at his table. It’s BRO TIME as everyone chants, yells out the names of their high schools, and the groomsmen root for Tina to have a bunch of masculine boys.

Connie steps up with some booze to toast with and announces that she has a poem for Tina, but we never hear it because Tina (who I guess wasn’t noticing during the champagne ceremony that Connie had a drink and Loretta ain’t getting into a fight with wedding guests on that topic) starts yelling at Connie about drinking. Connie yells back that “you’re married for five minutes and now you’re no fun any more?” and Tina calls her the “maid of trash, made of trash” and boots Connie out of maid of honor and gives it to Donna. Donna is thrilled. Father Mark tries to break up the resulting fight. Father Mark has been given way too much booze this evening, he’s too polite to say no, and this is starting to become a problem.

Joey distracts everyone by leading the wedding party in the Macarena, and then Vinnie leads everyone in the “international medley” of dancing Hava Nagila in a circle, followed by the Mexican Hat Dance in a circle. Mrs. V and Nunzio have gotten Very Friendly and/or drunk at this point and are chasing each other around like a bull and bullfighter in the circle. Mrs. V must be SUPER drunk by now to be into this. The last dance of the medley is the tarantella. At one point Tony does the Cossack dance and absolutely kicks ass at it.

The bros decide to dance, with Johnny at one point sliding across the floor. Dom yells out, “STILETTOS,” the name of their old gang, and the guys bro it up while the girls yell “Assholes” at them. Tony is lifted up and carried around. More drinking goes on. Michael ends up smacking Tony in the face again when he goes for a booze bottle, and Tony ends up chasing Michael around. Barry drags Michael off to the bar, Tina gets Tony a shot. Dom and Donna sneak off to make out.

Vinnie does his stand up act and god only knows what is gonna come out of his mouth during this. Could be commentary on his and Loretta’s sex life, could be the entire list of his ancestry about his ancestor Carmine Nero getting tired of jokes about his fiddle, jokes about alligators, farts, in-laws being a bunch of cows, Jewish husbands not being allowed to speak or bad restaurant names, he could be singing “My Way.” Who knows? Loretta gives him two minutes and watches her watch (and drinks from her flask) before she starts to try to head him off at the pass and reminds him that others want to sing tonight.

Mrs. V sings “Santa Maria,” her family members sway and/or twirl around during the number, the Nunzio boys’ party get on their knees during it.

Mrs. V wants to hold a Dollar Dance to fund TnT’s trip to Sea World, which Tina was NOT aware of and NOT cool with. Tina runs away to the bar, and Mrs. V forces Marina to go get her and drag her back. Marina and Loretta (“tape buddies”) hand out tape to people to stick dollar bills on them. People stick the dollar bills god only knows where, especially on poor Tony’s pants in sometimes very interesting locations. While this is going on, Donna sings “My Heart Will Go On,” a song Dom hates. Michael takes too much advantage of the Dollar Dance to get Tina’s attention, causes some trouble with that, and randomly does a karate move in Sal’s face when Sal is trying to work and surprises him. Father Mark starts passing out and Sister and Dom attempt to assist him. Sister and Dom have a conversation that unexpectedly ends in her saying, “but I love you!” just as the song ends.

Dom’s uh, solution to this problem is to kiss her, presumably in a way that she may not enjoy or is at least super embarrassed about. Sister runs off to hide. Donna sees all of this from the stage and launches into Katy Perry’s “Hot N’ Cold,” which sums up their relationship in a nutshell. Dom yells some commentary back along the lines of, “I FIXED it” and “How’s this for cryptic?” and flipping the bird at her before he stomps off as well. Everyone else dances to “Hot N’ Cold,” with Maddy and Loretta in particular yelling stuff like “Go Donna!” and “You can do better!” and Joey chiming in with “You go, girl!”

Joey and Vinnie encourage Tina to do a dance number with the bridesmaids and Joey to her favorite song/video, “Crazy in Love,” which they did in a contest once as the “Queen Bees.” They do an excellent job, but drunk-ass Nunzio stumbles through the middle of the number carrying a bunch of beers to Josie and Joey ends up dancing with Nunzio to distract him.

Maddy is encouraged by the bros to go dance on the table and does so, Mrs. V loses her shit at this and tries to drag her off. The music cuts to “Love Train” and Maddy instead starts a love train with everyone else. Tina and Mrs. V are fighting again and end up having a chase scene go on through all the tables and the love train until the music is cut again and Mrs. V breaks it all up, to everyone’s disappointment.

Mrs. V forces Tina and Joey to do a dance for their dead dad (“I Will Always Love You,” Dolly Parton version), which nobody is really in the mood for. Michael staggers on stage, grabs the mike and sings some lyrics of his own, rips off his shirt to reveal the tattoo he has of Tina’s name, and Tina faints. Michael is basically dragged out of the room at this point (but sneaks back in at the end). Tony and Tina finish the dance number and fight, with Tony saying that Tina is acting like a baby.

Loretta brings out the wedding cake and is forced to give Tina a big ol’ knife, which given Tina’s emotional state and inebriation is a terrible goddamned idea. Mrs. V insists on everyone singing, “The bride cuts the cake” and “The groom cuts the cake” to the tune of “The Cheese Stands Alone.” Tina wants to get a little stabby and Dom comes to the rescue, and then Tina tries to feed Dom the cake instead of Tony. Tina is eventually steered to feed the cake in the direction of Tony, but when it’s Tony’s turn, he snaps and smears the cake across Tina’s cheek instead. Ruh-roh. Tina runs out.

While the unoccupied wedding party members start passing out cake, for everyone else, it’s time for the bouquet toss! (Is this really a good idea right now?) Tina is dragged back for this, and for the garter toss, during which Tina’s pink fishnets are revealed, Tony may go for the garter with his teeth, or do a fakeout throw. Sal attempts to take pictures of the winners, but getting both the bride and groom into this photo may not be an option. Tina has a breakdown at the Vitale table, sobbing, “I want my father.” Awwwwww.

Maddy does a stripper-esque dance for Nunzio, Mrs. V attacks Nunzio, and ends up in a spectacular floor spill. Tony hits his limit and yells at both of them and basically everybody, well deservedly. He calls his dad out that this is not a strip joint, calls his brother out for getting into hijinks and says he should know better, and for Mrs. V to get up because she’s not hurt and he knows she hates his family. “Is this the wedding you wanted?” Tony and Tina say they love each other and make up.

Sal does one last photo of everybody, and the show ends. Everyone either dances and/or talks to wedding guests to say goodbye.

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