Welcome to the Wedding! Tony-winning Broadway producer Hugh Hysell will return to his acting roots beginning August 31, playing wacky wedding/funeral planner Maurizio Le Grande in My Big Gay Italian Wedding and My Big Gay Italian Funeral, two zany comedies playing in repertory at off-Broadway’s St. Luke’s Theatre. Original cast member Brett Douglas will play his final performance as Maurizio on August 25.
Written and starring Anthony Wilkinson, My Big Gay Italian Wedding and My Big Gay Italian Funeral are both loosely based on his own Italian family. Wedding tells the story of Anthony Pinnunziato (Wilkinson), a gay Italian-American from a large, chaotic family who wants to marry his boyfriend Andrew (Brandon Goins) in a traditional wedding ceremony. My Big Gay Italian Funeral begins where Wedding leaves off, as the family mourns the death of Anthony’s father.
In addition to Hysell and Wilkinson, Wedding and Funeral star Donna Castellano, Marissa Perry, Debra Toscano, Liz Gerecitano, Meagan Robar, Erik Ransom, Chad Kessler, Brandon Goins, Joe Scanio, Jody Lyn Flynn, Marie Fontaine and Jonathan Wiener. Wedding also stars Nick Varrichio and Paul Moon, while Funeral stars Brian Patrick Murphy, Mustafa Gatollari and Beth Dzuricky.
Hysell’s Broadway producing credits include Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Peter and the Starcatcher and Impressionism. Off-Broadway, he conceived, directed and produced The All-Male Importance of Being Earnest, Y-2 Gay The Musical and Seamen The Sailor Musical. As an actor, he appeared in The Phantom of the Opera, Pippin, Pirates of Penzance, The Fantasticks and A Christmas Carol on tour. His additional New York acting credits include The All-Male Importance of Being Earnest, Young Abe Lincoln, Babes in Toyland and From Sea to Shining Sea.