A fine wedding party – and you don’t have to take a gift | NevadaAppeal.com

A fine wedding party – and you don’t have to take a gift

sam bauman
Appeal Staff Writer
photos by Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Micha Maria Stevens rehearses the role of Maria A. Cavatelli, the bride, in "Joey and Maria's Comedy Italian Wedding" on Tuesday at the Plaza Hotel Conference Center.

It promises to be a night like nothing before in Carson City. It’s going to be one big bash of a wedding – Italian style. And audience members are part of the cast.

The Wild Horse Theater Company, in collaboration with The Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, will stage the Northern Nevada premiere of “Joey and Maria’s Comedy Italian Wedding,” an original interactive dinner theater hit.

“Interactive” means that the audience will star. Don’t ask how, just show up hungry for light theater and food.

The sort-of plot: The Gnocchi and Cavatelli families stage an Italian wedding and reception with a family secret. Joey is the bridegroom and he looks and acts like an Italian man not sure if he’s ready to settle down to homemade linguini. Maria is the bride and she’s sure she’s ready to marry, if only to get the keys to Joey’s Cadillac.

The setting, in the Plaza Hotel’s center, is an ocean of tables, a kind of church facade in what is supposed to be Carmine Cannoli’s Bowling Alley and Wedding Chapel. No bowling alleys are seen.

The action starts as guests (ticket-buyers) enter, greeted by the Cannoli ushers. A wedding invitation awaits on the tables.

(Those of Italian background may not agree that this is a typical Italian wedding, but hang in, it’s all in fun and there’s a big buffet that comes with the tickets.)

After the ceremony there’s a champagne toast, an attack on the buffet and dancing.

At this point things go neatly awry, making for a wedding reception rarely seen in civilized countries. From the welcoming speech by Pastor Matzo, Kevin Karp, to Netta Gnocchi, mother of the groom, Karen Chandler, and Don Ziti, “godfather” of the bride, Antonio Pastini (who certainly looks the part in Mafia garb), the cast includes veterans of the local scene as well as newcomers.

Directed by Jeffrey Scott, back in Carson City after five years in Alaska, and produced by Carol Scott (yes, they’re married) “Joey and Maria’s Comedy Italian Wedding” stars Rich Garrett as Joey Gnocchi and Micha Marie Stevens as Maria Cavatelli, the bride. Matt Riddle is Al Dente, best man, and Kathryn Weber-Karp is Tina Tubbatini, maid of honor. All are suitably attired, white tails for the reluctant Joey, bridal gown for Maria.

Obviously, the names are all of Italian cuisine. Well, it continues the theme. This is such a light-hearted farce that any criticism would be churlish. It’s there for a fun night out and as a primer of how not to have a wedding.

The evening also includes champagne toast to the “happy couple,” wedding cake, dancing, singing, and celebrating. A cash bar is available for those with a serious thirst.

• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or Sbauman@nevadaappeal.com.

If you go

WHAT: A lampoon of weddings for an interactive audience, “Joey and Maria’s Comedy Italian Wedding”

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through June 23, action starts at 7; matinees 2 p.m. June 10 and 24

WHERE: Plaza Hotel Conference Center (behind the hotel) at 801 S. Carson St.

TICKETS: $49.50 with some discounts; a limited number of Saturday evening VIP tickets are $74.50. Tickets are also available at The Plaza Hotel.

CALL: 887-0438 to purchase in advance, also available at the door