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FAU student keeps getting married, but it's all for show
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By GREGORY DYER
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A multimedia journalism student at Florida Atlantic University has been married several times this past year in front of hundreds of people, in different locations, without ever getting a divorce.

While this might seem illegal, Natalie D'Alacio accomplishes this playing the role of Tina in the off-Broadway comedy, Tony n' Tina's Wedding.

Having premiered in 1985 at a small venue in New York City, Tony n' Tina's Wedding has played in since in more than 100 locations worldwide. In the United States, the show has been staged in cities such as New York, Miami, Chicago and Las Vegas. And the list continues to grow.

Audience members typically pay $40 to attend the show "wedding," where they are treated to food and drink.

"During the show, you sit as if you're attending the wedding as one of Tony and Tina's guests. The other characters and I will interact with the audience throughout the show.

"While they have specific lines to follow, the whole show is kind of 'off the wall' because it's mostly improv," D'Alacio said.

While she plays one of the principal roles in the show, D'Alacia didn't start out that way. Before she was Tina, she played a smaller role of a drunken nun – filling in for a cast member who pulled out of the show at the last minute.

Larry Pellegrini, one of the original cast members from the New York City debut, heard about D'Alacio through an actor who had worked with her on an independent film. As a result of the positive feedback he received from her co-star, Pellegrini took a chance to see if D'Alacio could be the show's new "nun."

After a successful interview and conversation over the phone with Pellegrini (now one of the show's producers), a script arrived three days later. But at D'Alacio's first appearance with the show, the actress who portrayed Tina came down with food poisoning and no longer could perform.

With her script freshly memorized, D'Alacio assured the show's producers that she knew the lines for Tina, and also could sing some of the songs if they needed her to. As a fill-in for the leading role, she did so well that the producer asked her to portray Tina in the next show.

D'Alacio, 22, now has been Tina since October 2010 for shows in the Boca Raton and Miami areas.

"I totally love doing the show and it's definitely a lot of fun, but I don't plan on doing this forever," she said in a recent interview.

D'Alacio already has worked to get her name and work recognized – she is represented by four agencies in Miami. Her dream is get a top role in a Hollywood comedy.

She recently appeared in Lifetime's Army Wives, and she has had roles in various Latin-American soap operas. This summer, she will work as an intern with Ellen Jacoby Casting International and working on the set for the movie version of the Broadway hit, Rock of Ages. Production will be in Miami and Fort Lauderdale this summer, with Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta in the lead roles.

"When I'm doing my internship this summer, I'll be helping Ellen with casting extras and handling call duties for the movie. I really think that this will give me a better opportunity to gain more experience first-hand and maybe have more opportunities through this -- like a fly on the wall kind of thing," D'Alacio said.

D'Alacio hopes to transfer to New York University so that she can continue working toward her degree while being able to attend casting calls in the Big Apple – a prime location for aspiring actors and actresses.

 
 

 
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