Act and react – Festive and interactive show coming to Rialto

Photo by Angela Branson – Cast members rehearse a scene from Moon Theater’s upcoming production of “ Tony and Tina’s Wedding,” coming to the Rialto Theater in Loveland this month. (L-R) Kathleen Grumman (Aunt Rose), Aanya Quillen (Connie), Emma Applemann (Tina), Michelle Jacobsen (Josephina), Dylan Monti (Tony)

By Aaron Reynolds

The Surveyor

You sit down with family and friends at the reception dinner. It’s an Italian-American wedding so the meal includes homemade spaghetti with a side salad and bread. Champagne is for the toast and cake will be served thereafter. The only part that is unusual is this is not an actual wedding, but “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” – the latest theatrical presentation from Berthoud’s Moon Theatre.

Coming to the Rialto Theater this October, Moon Theatre will run several shows of the comedy that is an exaggerated rendition of an Italian-American wedding and its stereotypes. The play has been a hit in Las Vegas over the last decade, acting as the longest running “off-Broadway” show in theater.

“Tony and Tina’s Wedding” is remarkably unique in the event the audience becomes an active part of the actual event, and therefore the show. The audience members serve as guests at the reception and are awarded the opportunity to interact with the cast members of the show, igniting an interactive experience and truly making every show different from the last.

The purpose of “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” is to deliver plenty of laughs in a wedding environment that includes the traditional eating, drinking, dancing and conversing. As a result, while parts of the show are scripted to a particular plot, “90 percent of the performance is improv,” according to director Kim Bubon.

It is a challenge that Bubon, along with the members of the cast, was willing to accept, though the director admits it does create an artistic challenge.

“Wrangling a group of 20-plus cast members through the storyline of a play with no scripted lines is a challenge, but through lots of character and situational improvisation exercises at rehearsals, the actors were able to fully flesh-out the characters, making the thru-line of the show very natural,” Bubon explained.

The comedy is a breakthrough role for Emma Appelmann, who plays the “classic Jersey princess,” Tina. While Appelmann describes herself as very different from her character, she joked that after being subjected to a lot of “Tinas” back in Long Island (where she resided while attending college) she has nailed the characterization.

“Tony and Tina’s Wedding” features 25 cast and crew members, 15 of whom have worked with Moon Theatre in the past, though, like Appelmann, it will be the first show with Dylan Monti – who plays Tony.

Monti describes Tony as “a chill guy who likes to have fun” and also cares about Tina “above all else.” Like the other cast members, Monti is looking forward to the situational comedy that will arise from the interactive element of the show between cast and audience.

“One of the most exciting and challenging parts of improv is always having to be on your toes and be able to act and react in any given situation,” he said.

Bubon added, “The show is guaranteed to be a bit different every night.”

“Tony and Tina’s Wedding” will show at the Deveraux Room at the Rialto Theater, Oct. 12, 13, 19, 26 and 27. The $35 admission not only features the show but a dinner that includes spaghetti, salad, bread, meat, and desert. The show is reserved for 18 and older because of the cash bar. For more information, visit https://moontheatre.wordpress.com/.

CAST LIST

Dylan Monti – Tony

Emma Appelmann – Tina

Andrew Quirk – Barry

Aanya Quillen – Connie

Dimas Hornbuckle – Dominic

Vicky Serdyuk – Donna

Preston Ross – Johnny

Maris Westrum – Marina

Michelle Jacobson – Josephina

Larry Westrum – Luigi

Ace Noland – Joey

Elizabeth Session – Sister Albert Maria

Shane Grant    – Nunzio

Pam Strahan    – Grandma Nunzio

Harry James-Roxby    – Michael

Daryl Branson -Father Mark

Angela Branson – Sal

Rick Padden – Vinnie

Jill Smith-Buck – Loretta

Alex Tankersley – Rick

Kathleen Grumman – Aunt Rose

Jan Davison – Caterer

Hannah Horne – Caterer

Julie Marino – Caterer

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