The Wedding Party
Tom and Brian have chosen a wedding party of their 6 “Best People.” Starring in the roles of Tom and Brian’s lives are:
DAVID BRYANT (Brian’s Side)
VINNIE COSTA (Tom’s Side)
Vinnie became friends with Tom when Tom, in his great wisdom hired him to be the strolling character Grimm at the Jekyll and Hyde Pub over ten years ago when Vinnie was in his early thirties. Currently in his mid-thirties, Vinnie can’t imagine a life without Professor Shroud in it.
Now, listen, Vinnie doesn’t use the term great wisdom lightly when referring to Tom – Tom, indeed is possessed of great wisdom, he’s almost always right when it comes to almost everything, his love of Broadway’s Dance of the Vampires, one of only a few exceptions.
Tom and Vinnie became fast friends; bonding over a shared love of Star Trek, Carol Channing and show tunes; Brian, it seemed was always around, an annoying kid-brother.
Brian was attending college in NYC when he and Vinnie were introduced to each other. For the first year of their relationship Brian was referred to as “Monkey Sex” as he and Tom had yet to declare their love for one another and Tom and Vinnie were and are, well, just crude bastards.
Vinnie has had the pleasure of being 1/3 of the Bruces for over 1/2 of his adult life, in hind-sight, a relationship obviously destined by a higher power.
Vinnie is honored to be a part of the The Wedding Party.
ANNE COX (Tom’s Side)
“We’re going to be friends,” Tom commanded from stage left. It wasn’t a line from a show, nor was it the first time we met, but I do believe that moment was the true start of our friendship.
During rehearsals one fall night at Marist College, while staging “Rumors,” Tom decided it was time that I be invited to Men’s Night (a weekly ritual at a double-wide trailer which involved Olympian style drinking games, lawn ornaments, and the “Sound of Music”). It was 1996, and I had a fine impression of the self-assured, theatrical superstar Tom. I didn’t quite see a future for us as friends, and as usual, I wondered how Tom was so confident.
Before I knew it, I was well integrated with Tom and the tight knit Men’s Night crew, learning what “ducks” really were, packing on calories at the diner, and cruising in Monte while blasting Glenn Close waling “Sunset Boulevard.” Did I mention this was Tom’s pre-out days?
From Marist to Florence, from Rochester to Brooklyn, from Atlantic City to Vegas, our camaraderie has clocked the miles. All these years later, I take comfort in being wrong. Yes Tom, for once I will admit that he was right, I was wrong. Tom insisted we be friends, and well over a decade later, I am grateful for his persistence.
As Tom prepares to officially announce his commitment to Brian, I am once again comforted by Tom’s confidence. He has wisely chosen a wonderful partner in Brian. So, to the dictator and his blushing bridegroom - salute, slainte, salud – wishing you many happy days ahead!
CRISTIE EDWARDS (Brian’s Side)
It’s not possible for me to recall first meeting Brian; I was a newborn after all! I imagine he looked at my little pink face and realized that having a baby sister wasn’t going to be much fun after all… and that baby sure needed a lot of attention! Which is why, I can only assume, I paid for my being born the youngest of two for YEARS!
First, my payment was in the form of not getting to go to school with my big brother. Then, it was a blur of having to watch Brian go to bed later, go out with friends, drive, date and go to prom, later curfews and, worst of all, going off to college first. High school brought me to a whole new level of payment for my unfortunate birth order. Brian had already been there for two years and established a name for himself in the drama and music departments. I was dragged to musicals and chorus concerts, to Jazz Band performances and football games where I had to leave my friends and join my parents on the bleachers to watch my big brother play quads for the marching band. It was in my first two years of high school where I learned what it felt like to truly BE a little sister. I went from being Cristie to “Brian’s little sister.” And I hated almost every minute of it (back then I was way to stubborn to admit how proud I was of him and of being his little sister).
My junior year of high school was my first year of school without my big brother. He wasn’t in another school up the street or commuting to the community college 30 miles out of town. He wasn’t even a couple hours drive to a state university. He was almost 700 miles away in New York. My junior year of high school is when I realized my best friend in the whole world was literally a world away. I learned that year what it means to love a sibling more than you ever thought was possible; to forgive them even though there seems a zillion reasons you shouldn’t; to accept the person they are even though you think you can’t; and love them because you understand there’s no one else on the planet who knows you like they do. I finally realized that being in his shadow was much better than being all alone; that being “Brian’s little sister” was a gift unlike any other I had been given.
There have been more happy times than sad, more good times than bad, more close times than distant and more proud times than ashamed. Brian and I share our childhood, our family and even some of our friends. He made me cry when he told me I was adopted, he made me smile when he pointed out my initials were part of the alphabet (abCDEfg), he broke the ice in our swimming pool one winter and I fell through but he helped me out and took me inside and got me warm. Some of my fondest memories include my brother. Brian has made such an impression on my life that my son is even named after him.
I am honored to be a part of this wedding party and to stand up that day in celebration and support of a new chapter in my big brother’s life. I only hope it’s an outdoor ceremony so the sun can shine down brightly upon Brian and Tom and I can be in my bubbie’s shadow once again.
I love you both.
CHRISTINA FONTANA (Brian’s Side)
I can’t remember the very first moment I met Brian. We were both at Marymount, he was living at the St. George Hotel, I was dating Rose who lived there as well and must have introduced us. We somehow met and decided to grab a drink in Brooklyn Heights. Beer has washed away a lot of my memory, but the one thing I will always remember from that night is this one moment when I looked at him and smirked. I smirked because I just knew. I just knew that the person I was sharing a beer with for the very first time would be someone that I would love for the rest of my life. I would laugh with him, get scared with him, protect him, watch porn channels for free with stolen cable with him, find comfort in him and grow with him. I would be proud when he went after his dreams no matter how scary they seemed. I would feel safe knowing that he would do anything for me. I would cry when I watched him marry the person he loved and I would feel grateful to have been able to share my life with him. I will never forget that moment because Brian had the same smirk. We actually talked about it and laughed at how weird it was to feel like that about a relative stranger. It was one of those few moments in life, that you meet one of your soul-mates, and you just know.
ROSEANNE SARACENO (Tom’s Side)
Picture it…….Sicily 1943. What a minute! I’m not Sophia from “The Golden Girls.” Oops! Let me start again 50 years later in a different town. Picture it….Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York, Fall 1993. It was my sophomore year in college and one night, I was in the theatre offering moral support to my girlfriends as they auditioned for the fall play, “Lend Me a Tenor.” As I sat in the audience on the right side, I look over to the center and noticed a very smiley, happy guy. He was obviously new and I assumed him to be a freshmen. He had such a cheery disposition and I thought to myself, “That guy looks so nice!” As weeks went on and he joined our theatre club, MCCTA, I found out he was indeed a freshman and his name was Tom Privitere. A few weeks later, we were both at the same party at a friend’s house. I walked around while Tom spent the majority of the evening at a table playing cards and “hydrating” himself. Eventually I ended up in the same room as him eating a bag of popcorn. I noticed him staring at me as I shoved white cheddar popcorn in my face and I thought, “That guy Tom looks like he wants some popcorn.” Being a bit reserved and thinking he had no idea who I was, I finished off the bag, went on my merry way, but again, found myself in the same room as Tom – this time standing right next to him. The conversation went like this:
Tom: “By any chance, would you have some more of that popcorn you were eating before?”
Roseanne: “I’m so sorry, I don’t. I finished off the bag.”
Tom: (very sad and defeated) “Oh.” (several beats later…..LOUDLY) “WELL CAN YOU FIND ME SOME CHIPS THEN!?!?!?! I’M STARVING!!!!”
I am happy to report the next day in the cafeteria at lunch, Tom did get his popcorn. It was delivered by his future piasana….me…his Cumada Rosie! I am so proud to stand by his side as he marries the love of his life.