My Big Gay Italian Wedding
Reichen Lehmkuhl and Anthony Wilkinson star in a new production of this mildly diverting if cartoonish comedy.
The first hurdle that the couple faces is the demand made by Angela (a shrill Randi Kaplan), Anthony's perpetually hyperventilating and hyperbolic mother: Father Rosalia (Chad Kessler) must perform the ceremony -- and Andrew's mother, to whom he doesn't speak, must attend the event.
When it proves impossible to meet the first demand, Anthony concocts a lie about the priest's health and Angela agrees to allow someone else to officiate. And when Andrew's mother won't show, he, with Lucia (Liz Gerecitano), one of their lesbian friends, decides that Rodney, a fey Latino friend (Erik Ransom), can stand in -- in drag. As if these two ruses weren't enough to ensure pandemonium on the day of the wedding, Gregorio (the dashing and posturing Fabio Taliercio), an old flame of Andrew's who has a secret about his ex, insinuates himself into the wedding party. Still, a happy ending is sure to follow.
Wilkinson's hackneyed plotting is matched by the clichéd characterizations, from the bitterly squabbling semi-butch lesbians to lisping queens to Anthony's big-haired female relatives. The dialogue is equally predictable, filled with Italian invectives and some ethnic slurs that would make Archie Bunker proud. And director Teresa A. Cicala's lackadaisical production does the play no favors. (One aspect of the production does truly gleam: Philip Heckman's costumes for the wedding itself are a witty joy.)