BWW Interview: Actor and Nice Guy John Pirrone
Actor John Pirrone is seldom without a smile. It could be because he's a nice guy. John talks to us about Actors Anonymous Theatre Company and Tony n' Tina's Wedding.
MCL: How long have you been a part of The Actors Anonymous Theatre Company?
JP: I have been part of Actors Anonymous for the past 16 years. I auditioned in 2001 for Tony N Tina's Wedding and since then haven been cast in many of their shows.
MCL: Describe what kind of theater Actors Anonymous does?
JP: Actors Anonymous is Western New York's only theatre company that does nothing but interactive and improvisational theatre.
MCL: What was the first show you did for them?
JP: The First Show that I did for Actors Anonymous Theatre Company was Tony n' Tina's Wedding. I was cast in 2001 and I have played the same role for 16 years. I have never played another role in the show except for the role of Joey Vitale (Tina's Brother). I am honored to only have played Joey for this long and it is my intention to play this role for another 4 years to make my 20 Year goal.
MCL: What is Tony N Tina's Wedding?
JP: One of the longest running shows in Off Broadway history, Audience members are the guests at the nuptial celebration of Tony Nunzio and Valentina Vitale in all its tacky and hilarious glory. Following the church service is a reception where the audience joins the wedding party and their bickering families for a pasta dinner, champagne toasts, wedding cake and dancing to a live band.
MCL: How much is improvisational and how much is scripted?
JP: Tony N Tina's Wedding certainly has a script. There are certain things that have to happen in every show. However, our interaction with Wedding Guests in completely improvisational.
MCL: What is your role?
JP: I play the role of Joey Vitale, Tina's Brother. Joey is Tina's Older Brother who is very protective of his Sister. Joey is very eccentric and flashy-If you know what I mean! Behind the Scenes, I sit on the Actors Anonymous Theatre Company's Production Team with operational and marketing responsibilities.
MCL: What other shows have you done with Actors Anonymous?
JP: Over the past 16 years, I have done Tony n Tina's Wedding, The King and Queens Royal Feast, Café Bison, Doctor your Trying My Patience, The Birchbumble Family Reunion, Murphy's Irish Wake.
MCL: Do most of the audience understand what improvisational is before they see the show?
JP: I believe that audience members "think' they know what improvisational is, but once they attend one of our shows, they fully understand. With every show that we do, we get the audience involved and have improvisational conversations with audience members. They forget that they are attending a play and become part of the show.
MCL: The toughest part of this kind of theater?
JP: The toughest part of this type of theatre is never letting your guard down. Every show is about 3-4 hours in length and for that entire time, you must never come out of character. If an actor were to come out of character, which never happens, it would simply ruin it for the audience member.
MCL: What do you want people to know about Tony N Tina's that they may not know?
JP: Tony n' Tina's has turned into a Buffalo Tradition. We have audience members that come back year after year and every single time that see a different part of the show that maybe that had not seen. We are constantly relooking at the show season after season to keep it fresh, up to date and find ways to become more interactive with the audience. The reviews on our Facebook page say it all-our patrons love what we do and their word of mouth makes our show a success every season.
MCL: What do you have coming up for 2017?
JP: In 2017, we will be unveiling a new show call "That 80's Prom" which I know will be a WNY sensation. Audience members come dressed in 80's Prom attire, interact with our actors and dance the night away to 80's dance music. This is another interactive and improvisational show.
Here are some of the reviews from our Facebook Fans:
"This was the most remarkable experience ever.....was a bit apprehensive at first, not knowing at all what to expect but then all of a sudden you are transported into a whirlwind of excitement and ultimate anticipation of what's to come....you become "family" and are living the entire celebration....no favorites to say but my wife loved Joey ....if you haven't seen Tony and Tina's Wedding it is a must see !!! We can't wait to come back (this time with a huge group) If I could give them 6 stars I would !!!" ~John Lombardi (Lockport, NY)
"It really doesn't get much better than this!!!! With so much negativity and stress in the world today, this was just an amazing way to spend a Saturday night. Loved every minute of it and the cast!"~Rosie Evans
"Went last night enjoyed this production better than the one I saw at Shea's years ago. Looking forward to more of their productions"~ Chris Makowski
"Words cannot describe an evening with this fine group of actors. From being lectured in the lobby on how to get our tickets, to saying goodnight to the grooms family on a end of night receiving line, this event put everything you ever had to endure at a wedding into a madcap 3 hours. And what can you say about the characters, Sister and Father , Mom, Joey, Mike, Sal, Tony and Tina and the rest left us in stitches. 24 hours later and we are still laughing about it. If you go, become involved. Dance, sing, drink...have a great time. By all means go and see this improv group whenever you can, but especially go and shared this sacred event with them..." ~Bob Giroux
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