Playwright Anthony Wilkinson seems to specialize in “big,” “gay,” and “Italian”, with some of his other works dealing with (the above) midlife crisis and funeral. Wilkerson knows his way around the human heart and is the winner of several daytime Emmys and Director’s Guild awards for his work as associate director on the daytime drama, “One Life to Live.” His “Italian series” cements his ability to take a comic turn when needed. MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING premiered in New York in 2003.
Lovebirds Anthony Pinnunziato (Gianfranco Terrin) and Andrew Polinski (David-Simon Dayan) decide that they’re ready to say their “I do’s” despite some possible barriers to their wedding plans. Anthony comes from a very traditional family, and his mother Angela (Linda Nile) insists that they have Father Rosalia (Carlo Carere) presiding in a Catholic wedding – even if the Catholic Church has its misgiving about same-sex marriages. Besides that, Andrew hasn’t spoken to his mother in years – and Angela insists that mom give her son Andrew away at the ceremony. To add some spice to the confection, Andrew’s ex-lover Gregorio (Fabrizio Alliata) shows up at the wedding with a titillating secret that just might scuttle the whole affair. All the members of the extensive Pinnunziato family will definitely make an appearance at the proceedings, each adding his own special flavor to the wedding cake. What could possibly go wrong?
Wearing two hats, Gianfranco Terrin does double duty as director and star. It soon becomes apparent where all that energy is channeled as Terrin plays the exuberant Anthony while herding the cast of 15 under the flowered archway to future bliss. The ensemble cast gives it their all as they bump shoulders and personalities in this peppy, vigorous comic production. Kudos to Ric Olivera, Kevin Clough, Ana Maria Perez, Tiera Dashae, Serena Limonta, Claudia Jakab, Salvador Aven, Julian Zambrano, Tomaso de Blasi, and Sarah John Long – the balance of the wedding guests. Don’t expect any soul searching in these one-dimensional folks. Their only job is to entertain and keep the laughs coming – which they do with some uproarious results. Although the characters at the wedding sometimes smack of stereotypes, MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING remains a good-natured jaunt into the world of humor. The show is cute, funny, and has enough song and dance to uplift the audience. MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING is a presentation of the Italian Comedy Club and Fausto Petronzio.
MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING runs through March 31, 2019 with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 3 p.m. on Sundays. The Hudson Theatre (Main Stage) is located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90038. Tickets are $55. For information and reservations, call 323-481-6890 or go online.