A collection of frequently visited links on Hofstra.edu.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private college on Long Island, NY, where students can choose from more than 140 undergraduate and 150 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education, health and human services, and honors studies, as well as a School of Law and School of Medicine. | more |
Tony n'Tina have long held the spot for favorite New York theatrical couple, rivaled only by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in terms of tickets sold and times married. While "TNT" may have originally exchanged vows in Greenwich Village, few remember that the couple met at Hofstra University. And almost two decades later, they are still one of the best-known, if not quirkiest, couples in American theater.
Tony n'Tina's Wedding, which will celebrate its platinum anniversary in 2008, was originally conceived at Hofstra while Mark Nasser '81 and Nancy Cassaro '81 (the original Tony n'Tina) were undergraduates. Both were in the Drama Department from 1977 to 1981. Though they were not romantically involved, for fun they would improvise with each other, playing the parts of an Italian boyfriend and girlfriend from Queens.
After Mark and Nancy's graduation from Hofstra, they moved to New York City and their professional relationship continued. They came up with the idea of presenting an interactive wedding where the audience would play the parts of the guests. In 1985 three performances were scheduled, and the actors invited their friends and family.
It soon became clear to fellow Hofstra alumus Joe Corcoran '82 that this was an "event" that would appeal to a broad audience, including those who were not traditional theatergoers. In 1988 Joe left a lucrative job at Bear Stearns on Wall Street to enter the entertainment industry. He and his brother, Dan, acquired the worldwide rights to produce, license and authorize performances of Tony n'Tina's Wedding.
Joe soon mounted a second production of the fledgling show, this time for several weeks, where it caught the eye of media outlets from around the world, including People magazine, then The New York Times and TIME. Audiences immediately embraced the concept of &quo;participatory theater,&quo; where they could eat, drink and dance while interacting with characters that reminded them of their own dysfunctional families and friends.
On Valentine's Day in 1988 the first commercial production was capitalized and presented in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, with the church ceremony taking place at St. John's Church on Christopher Street. The audience attended the church service, then walked with the cast across Seventh Avenue to Waverly Place for the reception. The show soon became a fixture of the Greenwich Village neighborhood, running there for its first 11 years.
Along with Nancy's Tina and Mark's Tony, quite a few other Hofstra alumni made up the show's original cast (a.k.a. "bridal party" including Elizabeth Dennehy '82, Phil Rosenthal '81, Susan Varon '75, and Moira Wilson '81. Other cast members from the early years include Judy Sheehan '82, Monica Horan '84, Denise Moses and Tom Karlya '82.
Since that Valentine's Day performance, the Tony n'Tina's Wedding phenomenon has expanded around the country and even around the globe. There are currently productions in Atlantic City; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Lakeland, Florida; Las Vegas; Philadelphia and Reading, Pennsylvania; Schenectady; and Vancouver. There have also been performances in Japan, Australia and many European cities.
As part of Hofstra;s 2007 Homecoming festivities, there will be a special performance of Tony n;Tina;s Wedding on Friday, October 5, 2007, at the Sondra and David S. Mack Student Center. The original "Tony" Mark Nasser, will return to the cast to play Tony's father.
Different levels of sponsorship are available, including "Parents of the Bride," "Parents of the Groom" and "Bridal Attendants." Individual tickets are also available at $125 for the performance, which - as with any production of Tony n'Tina's Wedding - includes the show, dinner and dancing. For varying tickets prices and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.hofstra.edu or call the Alumni Relations Office at (516) 463-6636.