Tuesday, May 14, 2013

REVIEW: "My Big Gay Italian Wedding" Still Going Strong Off-Broadway

Anthony Wilkinson & Brandon Goins are currently starring in "My Big
Gay Italian Wedding" at St. Luke's Theatre
Anthony Wilkinson’s soapy comedy of love and emotional ennui, "My Big Gay Italian Wedding" is still going strong Off-Broadway, where it's charming audiences with a smart script and hilarious performances. Writer Anthony Wilkinson portrays Anthony Pinnunziato, a wacky but lovable Italian guy who surprises his family with news he is going to get married to his Polish boyfriend, Andrew (Brandon Goins). What ensues after the announcement is comedy gold.

Add to the mix Anthony’s eclectic group of friends, his best friend Mario (Drew Little), waring exes Lucia and Connie (Liz Gerecitano, Meagan Robar), the Diva Rodney (Erik Ransom, who also plays another FUN role), and the adorable Frankie (Nick Varricchio). Then theres Gregorio (Paul Moon), a friend from Andrew’s past who threatens the couple’s happy ending.

The entire cast is unbelievable talented, including Joe Scanio and Donna Castellano, who bring so much heart and laughter to their roles as Anthony’s parents, Joe and Angela Pinnunziato. Marissa Perry is dynamic as the sister every guy would love to have, Maria Pinnunziato. Special Guest Star ALL MY CHILDREN veteran Alicia Minshew was absolutely shining, big hair and all, during her limited run as Aunt Toniann Naso. Minshew could very easily have a career in comedy. Anthony Wilkinson shows that he is a triple threat--talented writer, producer, and amazing actor. Hunkalicious Goins proves a beautiful face and rock hard body can also harbor a smart, savvy comedian and damn good actor. Easily the scene stealer award goes to Brett Douglas who portrays Maurizio LeGrande, the GRAND wedding planner! Douglas gives such a smart and witty performance, along with his comic timing, I wouldn't be surprised to see him in an even bigger role soon.

"My Big Gay Italian Wedding" was created by Wilkinson during the height of the gay marriage debate. In fact, on the evening when New York State approved the legalization of marriage equality, the cast was able to inform the unknowing audience of the news during a performance. Although there are slight, subtle political undertones, "My Big Gay Italian Wedding" does not feel like an afterschool special. The Pinnunziato family is extremely loving and supportive of Anthony. In fact the only hiccup Andrew faces with his parents is the fact that they want him to have a traditional Italian wedding, officiated by the family priest, Father Rosalia (Chad Kessler).

Every soap fan should flock to this interactive play! There’s heart, soul, drama, love and lust, everything we have come to enjoy from our daytime dramas. Except for the limited performances by Minshew, soap fans shouldn't let the fact that there aren't other big daytime names in the cast keep them from seeing the show. If Wilkinson is able to keep the same cast together, or keep the same high quality of actors in the roles, I have no doubt that he would have a bona fide smash hit on his hands that can run many years.

Where to find "My Big Gay Italian Wedding":

St. Luke’s Theatre
308 W 46th St
New York, NY

Website: biggayitalianwedding.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/MyBigGayItalianWedding
Twitter: @MyBigGayWedding

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