Tag Archives: Italian American Theatre of Chicago

Commedia comes to the Casa

The Italian American Theatre of Chicago presented “Vispetta” in the Community Center at Casa Italia in March. Adapted by Colleen Mraz from traditional 16th-century commedia dell’arte, the farce followed the misadventures of two star-crossed lovers, their clueless parents and their wily servant, Vispetta. True to its commedia roots, the principal actors wore masks and the humor was “slapstick,” a term that refers to a prop used in carnevale revels in Renaissance Venice. A medley of Italian songs performed by Joyce Marcheschi Westphal and Leonard Palombi greeted guests as they enjoyed wine and stuzzichini before a pizza dinner. The performance was …

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New theater troupe stages stirring debut

One of the most stirring moments in “Piano Piano: Stories From My Father,” comes when an Italian-American man tells how his immigrant father went in search of food during the Great Depression. The church’s food pantry ran out before he could get any, but on his way home, he saw a “for lease” sign and leased a grocery store, which helped get his family get through the Depression. The play takes place as a conversation between Rocco Chrisfotano, played by Antonio Brunetti, and his daughter Roxanne Christofano Pilat. She plays herself in the Italian American Theatre of Chicago’s debut production, …

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