Will Newman Be Next? Kramer Moves In With Tony N' Tina

News   Will Newman Be Next? Kramer Moves In With Tony N' Tina
 
First known as the guy on whom the "Seinfeld" character, Kramer, is based, then known as the guy who gives New York tours of "Seinfeld" sites, now Kenny Kramer will be known as the guy playing a wedding guest in Off-Broadway's Tony N' Tina's Wedding.
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First known as the guy on whom the "Seinfeld" character, Kramer, is based, then known as the guy who gives New York tours of "Seinfeld" sites, now Kenny Kramer will be known as the guy playing a wedding guest in Off-Broadway's Tony N' Tina's Wedding.

Kramer joins T&T as the show, which features audience participation in a spoofy version of an Italian wedding, rolls towards its tenth anniversary (in February).

Following in the footsteps of Grease!, T&T has maintained audience interest by offering unusual guest appearances in lead rolls. New York Met Lee Mazzilli and U.S. Soccer Champ Tony Meola and NY's most decorated city cop, Robert Cea, have all played Tony. The current groom is Patrick Buckley, though on Wednesdays the role is played by "Stuttering" John Melendez, a regular on the "Howard Stern Show" radio program. To make things even weirder, the current full-time Tina is Suzanna Keller, Melendez's real-life wife.

Not only popular (there are 14 Tony N' Tina's Weddings currently playing around the country), T&T has also been influential, since its part-scripted, part-improv, food-included and site-specific techniques have been adopted by show's such as Grandma Sylvia's Funeral, Bernie's Bar Mitzvah and the original creators' new, gay sequel, Tony N' Tony's Wedding, playing in Chicago concurrently with the original. (This co-opting is only fair, since Tony N' Tina's own roots can be found in other shows, such as Tamara, a high-priced, site specific piece that guided audience members through the rooms of the New York Armory and fed them on catered dishes, and the plethora of muder mystery dinner theatres at community and regional venues.)

Of Tony N' Tina's longevity, production spokesman David Gersten told Playbill On-Line, "Unlike other shows, they've been around ten years, and they haven't fired anyone yet." For tickets and information on Tony N' Tina's Wedding, which begins at St. John's Church on Christopher Street and then celebrates at Vinnie Black's Coliseum on Waverly Place, call (212) 279-4200.

-- By David Lefkowitz

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