Tony 'n' Tony's Wedding | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Tony 'n' Tony's Wedding



Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding created an interactive genre that mocks the last frontier of "family values": the marriage ceremony. But I never understood why these voyeuristic extravaganzas were more fun for audiences than the real thing until Tony 'n' Tony's Wedding, which adds camp playfulness to the usual mix of drunken guests, disgruntled family, and mock melodrama. Jay Leggett has scripted a charming love story peppered with drag queens and other ambiguously gendered characters to dance with, talk to, or observe--whatever your fancy. Audiences can get tarot readings from the shamanistic guru who performs the ceremony, console Tony's stunned and stalwart homophobic family, or just sit back and enjoy the sideshow of dancing waiters, singing guests, and vivid little crises. The cast includes Honey West, Monica Munro, and Jordan Simonson, plus a solid gathering of performers whose characterizations rarely blur into offensive caricatures (one of the hazards of the genre). This tightly choreographed carnival is a grown-ups' playground that affirms gay diversity and skewers sentimentality and traditionalism. In the midst of the current backlash against diversity of all kinds, Tony 'n' Tony's Wedding is savvy, playful political theater--a goofy celebration of love's ridiculous pleasures. Piper's Alley, 230 W. North, 664-8122. Open run: Mondays, 7:30 PM. $45 (includes food).

--Carol Burbank

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