By Elli Vlattas/Westfield High School
HERNDON, VA — We are gathered here today to celebrate the wedding of Tony and Tina and surely nothing will go wrong … or will it? Herndon High School presents “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding,” a riveting improv experience filled with self-centered brides, flirtatious groomsmen and fiery bridesmaids that transports the audience into the drama-filled wedding hall and witnesses how love will always win.
“Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” is an immersive theatre event, where the cast interacts with the audience through scripted and improv elements. It originally debuted in New York in 1985 then moved to off-off Broadway in 1988. This production has been produced several times all around the world, including a film adaptation premiering in 2004.
The production follows Tony and Tina throughout their Italian American wedding ceremony and reception. Along the way, the audience meets the wedding party, members of the family and the owner of this joint! As the night gets later and later and many get drunker and drunker, chaos begins to rise, and someone must find a way to stop it before the marriage ends even as it begins.
Lulu Megahed starred as the lively and egotistical Tina, who is focused on having her wedding be as perfect as possible. Megahed immersed herself in her character by having over-the-top physicality and detailed facial expressions that added comedy throughout the production that quickly shaped her into a bridezilla.
Megahed’s diction was incredible, especially since she used an authentic New York accent. Yali Miranda transformed into the apprehensive and romantic Tony. His ability to evolve through the show from timid and nervous (during the controlled ceremony) to energetic and combative (during the battles throughout the reception) helped progress the show from marital bliss to conflict. The tremendous connection between Megahed and Miranda added humor throughout the show, especially featured in their vows during their ceremony.
Emma Harris starred as the humorous and dynamic maid of honor, Connie. Harris’ magnificent acting range was demonstrated throughout her interactions with the audience that contrasted her exchanges with the other characters. Harris fashioned small remarks throughout the production which added to her comedic and blunt character. Augustus Wood thrived as the flirtatious and intriguing groomsman, Johnny. Wood’s fantastic dancing ability, evidenced throughout the several dance numbers, created the vibrant atmosphere of the wedding. The ability to flirt with most of the audience established the character and helped differentiate Johnny from the fellow groomsmen. The ensemble shined throughout the show by performing many different roles from playing in the band to serving an actual three-course meal to the audience. The ambience of the wedding was sparkling and animated.
The technical aspects featured in this show should not go unnoticed. The lighting (designed by David Wrigley, Zach Wemyss and Emmy Tublin) helped set the scene of the wedding and paralleled the emotions featured throughout the show by shifting colors. The costumes (designed by Chloe Thompson, Augustus Wood, Lauren Tucker and Katie Hancock) were masterfully crafted and transported the audience back to the 1990s. The costumes used pink, large sleeves and sparkle to incorporate styles of that era.
As the wedding reception begins to wind down, Herndon High School’s production of “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” proved that fights may happen, but love will always come out on top.