Joey & Maria’s Comedy Italian Wedding Hits the Stage

Darlyne Franklin's interactive play will head to the Bonita Springs-Estero Elks Lodge on January 6, where it will run through April

Joey & Maria’s Comedy Italian Wedding
Joey & Maria’s Comedy Italian Wedding

Joey and Maria are getting married! Again!

Screenwriter and actress Darlyne Franklin has returned with her interactive play, Joey & Maria’s Comedy Italian Wedding, in which an over-served nonna (grandmother) makes a scene and audience members participate in the tarantella (traditional wedding dance).

Franklin, a longtime local resident, brought the act back to Naples in November following a five-year hiatus. Now, it’s moving to the Bonita Springs-Estero Elks Lodge on January 6, where it will run through April. À la a real-life reception, the production includes a three-course meal catered by Artichoke & Company and full cash bar, and many attendees dress like they’re going to the real deal, though it’s not required.

Darlyne Franklin
Darlyne Franklin

Franklin studied and trained in theater, sketch writing, and improvisation at Emerson College, Upright Citizens Brigade, Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, The Groundlings, and Second City. She has an eye for the zany and for a good story. Growing up in Boston, Franklin had attended her fair share of Italian weddings, which inspired her to create the comedy 30 years ago.

It played successfully throughout Collier County for years and in 19 major cities and abroad. She’s glad to bring the highs of Joey and Maria’s matrimonial celebration back to local stages. “I feel the timing couldn’t be better. People want to go out for a night of dinner, dancing, and mingling,” she says.

If you’re the shy type who’s not interested in dancing, no worries. “The cast is trained not to push it at all,” Franklin says. “There are plenty of people who want to get up
and dance.”

Tickets are $85. 

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