Weddings can bring forth feelings of love, times of celebration and acts of complete debauchery.
At least that’s the case in “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding,” a hit that’s been performing its notorious nuptials since 1988.
This year, three SUNY Plattsburgh alumni are rejoining the Proctor’s Theatre cast for the Schenectady, N.Y., performances, Jan. 12-15.
| Photo: Kenneth Klapp on stage in the role of Mickey
The show features improvisation as audience members become guests at the satirical Italian-American wedding that comes with plenty of family drama.
Nik Gatzendorfer ’07 plays the bride’s closeted gay brother, Joey, who disguises his over-the-top significant other as the videographer.
“It’s an insane wedding,” said Gatzendorfer, who majored in communications, minored in theater and is in the show for the second time.
All of the improvisation ensures that no show is really ever the same, Gatzendorfer said. “Certain songs are cues, but, other than that, you’re just out talking to people, mingling …”
… and watching as events spin out of control.
Like when the divorced father brings an exotic dancer as his date just to get back at his ex-wife.
“Interact, be natural, be in the moment, laugh and have a great time,” Gatzendorfer said. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before.”
Kenneth Klapp agrees.
The ’72 education graduate is again playing Mickey Black, the foolish caterer’s assistant.
“I was given flexibility in creating my own version of Mickey. Apparently, the director liked what I did because I have been asked back for the fourth time. This type of play allows the actors to bring the audience into the show, and this is what is the most fun and keeps me coming back.”
For her second time with the show, Nikki Plyem ’09 plays Connie, the boisterous, gum-chewing and very pregnant maid of honor.
“If all of this were happening at a real wedding, it’d be the wedding you tell everyone about for years,” she said.
Plyem is no stranger to the stage. After earning her degree in theater, she moved to New York City, where she works in an improvisation company called Freestyle Repertory, takes classes at People’s Improv Theater (The Pit), tends bar and works to make a name for herself.
“I live off coffee and bananas, and I love my life,” she said.
For her, “Tony ‘n Tina” is not only another line on her résumé.
“It’s such an awesome production to be part of,” she said. “You get thrown into being around these people. From the time you wake up to when you go to bed, the bonds that you create are just crazy. It’s great on my résumé; it's fun; and it's a show people have heard of.”
Learn more about the show at www.tonylovestina.com.
- Michelle Besaw '08
For more information about the SUNY Plattsburgh alumni newsletter, please contact:
Michelle Marasch Ouellette
Director of Public Relations and Publications
Phone: (518) 564-3095
Alumni can subscribe to Calling Card by joining the Plattsburgh Alumni Community (PAC).