NEW JERSEY (FOX 5 NY) - Have you ever asked yourself what happens when an Italian momma’s boy decides to marry his longtime boyfriend?
That's the premise of the long-running play "My Big Gay Italian Wedding."
Complete with a Sicilian mom, enough overbearing but insanely lovable Italian aunts to last a lifetime -- and even a tarantella -- Anthony Wilkinson’s worldwide smash has come to the brand-new Avenel Performing Arts Center in New Jersey.
"That was one of the things I wanted to do as a writer which was not to really burden people with political messages and say 'This is the way we should be,'" said Wilkinson. "You know I just wanted to make people laugh."
The story, written before same-sex marriage was the law of the land, shows the struggle, of planning a wedding, with an overbearing family to contend with.
"If anything it's just a huge celebration of people and family," said Debra Toscano, who plays one of the aunts of Wilkinson's character.
"I tell everyone when you come to the show you will laugh from the minute you put your butt in the seat to the minute you leave," said cast member Kim Pirella.
The play started in the East Village and ended up off-Broadway. This year, during Pride Month, the play marks 16 years running.
It has circled the globe, attracted a celebrity following and even inspired a movie in Italy.
All this, for a production Anthony thought was nothing more than a fantasy.
Woodbridge, New Jersey Mayor John McCormac, who has a guest role, says he's excited his community will witness the 'big gay Italian' experience.
"It’s a meaningful role," he said. "It's a two-hour play, but I think role of minister is one of the critical roles in the entire play.
The revival of 'My Big Gay Italian Wedding" runs June 27 through July 3rd at the Avele Performing Arts Center In New Jersey. Tickets are $50. For more information go to avenelarts.com.