Has a show’s script ever been so tied to the news?
When the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the prohibition of same-sex marriage in Nevada on Tuesday, director Troy Heard got a text from Marianne Basford, the co-writer of “Joni and Gina’s Wedding.”
“It’s time to rewrite.”
The gay alternative to “Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding” has run in Los Angeles as an almost underground production for 12 years. “It’s really a protest: Get your act together,” says Heard, who got to know the show’s other writer, Ann Lippert, when they both worked an unrelated Las Vegas job.
The two now are co-directing a Las Vegas version of “Joni and Gina’s” and hope to strike while the iron is hot for the future of their interactive show.
But for the rest of this year, the show will continue its slow rollout at Ron DeCar’s Event Center, which offers the production the ideal layout of both a wedding chapel and adjacent reception hall. The next shows are Oct. 16 and 30, Nov. 13 and 26, and Dec. 11 and 26.
Heard says the Event Center is mostly booked for the year anyway, and the ill-fated “Pawn Shop Live” taught him the hazards of rushing a tourist-oriented production to market. But, he says, “It was just inevitable that the ban was going to get overturned. Knowing the script is a protest, we thought how great it would be to get to rewrite the script.”
Just as “Tony” and the interactive “Marriage Can Be Murder” lend themselves to group sales, Heard says he, DeCar and the show’s creators all realized what same-sex marriage could mean for targeting real weddings before and after the show, or bachelorette parties on wedding weekends.
“It’s a party,” Heard says. “It’s not like going to see a Broadway show where you sit down and take it in. This is one where you want to take your friends.”
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0288.