Pinocchio musical in New York City, Oct.19-23
From Michael Zufolo
Reviewed Wednesday, Oct.20
Go for it!
From the Columbus Day Parade on Oct.11 in New York City where I had first seen their colorful and amusing antics to the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on East 68th & Lexington in New York last evening, this is worth seeing. The new Italian musical play PINOCCHIO is a hit. Evenings from Oct.19-23 at 8pm.
This first-time ever Italian showcase of the legendary Italian puppet PINOCCHIO is for the entire family. Produced by
Compagnia della Rancia and ForumNet
and sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission & ENIT under the direction of Saverio Marconi and Simona Rodano,
it’s all Broadway in an off-Broadway staging and without the frills. And to help you get through the language barrier, you have several display monitors in front of you translating the
dialogue from Italian into English. It really works.
The story line is by the Italian writer Carlo Collodi. The music is by I Pooh,
a rock solid Italian troupe of musicians from Rome. The costumes are by Zaira De Vincentiis; the sets by Antonio Mastromattei.To date the play has been translated into 260 languages and is the most popular play in Italy by far we’re told.
Love is the message and family is the theme. Played by Manuel Frattini, with Pierpaolo Lopatriello as Geppetto, the father, and Simona Rodano as the mother, you can’t help by pour your hearth out for this wooden creature who comes to life and who savours to be with his creator, his father, and his mother who cares for him so passionately, and by his best friend Luciignolo played by Mauro Simone. The music is stirring, the sets in a fairy-tale village outside a whimsical forrest of tall gangly trees who whisper his name, and a surreal panoply of costumes in every color of the rainbow, this may be the best 2 1/2 hours you’ll spend this week.
As the story goes PINOCCHIO is created out of a stump of wood by Geppetto, the local shopkeeper who most wants a son but has not be able to have one. PINOCCHIO is his creation evolving in time into a warm- hearthed child with all the attributes of a natural young bustling boy. He is dearly loved and admired by all in his village.He’s also clever and quick and amazingly agile. He makes do with a cricket and takes part in the Fabulous Puppet Theatre that comes his way.The scene at the Venice Canal teases his senses. Waiting ladies in long period dress, Harlequin in his daring clown threads, provide his humor. So too the scene from Gatto & Volpe with so many Pantone colors thrown in.This becomes a play within a play. Great fun. He then asks “what are miracles?” “They’re magical things” he’s told. “Fortune doesn’t hang around” he opines adding “Tonight is all mine” with some greed in his voice, and with a lie in waiting as PINOCCHIO denies that he has any “money.” M-mmm! Growing a long, long nose he begs for forgiveness. Turchina, a maid in his household comes to his rescue intoning that life is really worth living, regardless. There’s still time to get back to the truth, she affirms. A moral lesson here, no doubt. And his good friend Lucignolo inferrs that “he’s loosing his innocence.” To this PINOCCHIO says he’d rather be a tree instead since a tree can grow, he cannot. He becomes remorseful. PINOCCHIO then comes to terms sensing that “love” is the most important element to stay alive. This is the secret of living he confides.
Final scene is where he is confronted by his father that he is after all really a
piece of wood. But he too with his disbelief finds that PINOCCHIO is more than wood- a living spirit of his ardent desire for a son, in fact. Then, without notice a younger life-like PINOCCHIO appears on stage in the very same costume that he has been made to wear by his father’s creation. Geppetto embraces both and his adoring wife. A celebration. Voila!
For more info on PINOCCHIO visit: www.italianfairy.com