Rome, June 12 - The Italian hit musical comedy Rugantino, set in 19th century papal Rome, is showing at the New York City Centre from Thursday through Saturday - fifty years after its historic debut at Rome's Sistina theatre. "Suitcases are packed. They are at the airport.
International gates," the show's director, Enrico Brignano, told ANSA last week.
Composed by Pietro Garinei and Sandro Giovannini, Rugantino debuted at the Sistina theatre December 15, 1962 and has undergone numerous revivals since then - most recently by Brignano himself at the show's home, the Sistina. "At the time the leads were Nino Manfredi, Aldo Fabrizi, Bice Valori, Ornella Vanoni," Brignano said of the original.
"We hope that the Americans remember something (about it).
In any case, New York City Centre can be found on Google and we expect everyone - Americans, Italian Americans, tourists, the curious….".
Brignano's version of Rugantino lands on Broadway after extraordinary success in Rome, with box office sales of 12 million euros over the two last seasons.
"Garinei didn't have time to see me in these shoes," Brignano said.
"But in recent years we had made agreements for me to interpret it. Now there is the excitement of taking an entirely Italian show to America, the famous 'Made in Italy', which speaks of our country, of a Rome from 1830, of love and death," Brignano explained.
Rugantino "was the first show I ever saw in the theatre, in 1978, with Nino Manfredi. It was right here on the stage of the Sistina. But I would have thought one day to be there too. But today I say that if we have once worked here, then you can not live without it. Not even if it is an exhausting theatre, because you can't get in or out of the Sistina. You can't find parking. To get the dressing room, my mother has to arrive in the afternoon." "It took me 20 years to arrive from Dragona, there was so much traffic. But this stage is different," said Brignano, quipping about his career path from the neighborhood in Rome where he is from. Brignano is already working on his next show, which will also debut at the Sistina on January 27, 2015. Created from scratch, the work remains nameless.
"The title is always a little like shoes. Which shoes should I put on? How can you decide beforehand?" Brignano joked.
"We asked to choose it at the end of the season but the SIAE insisted that it's needed before," he said, mentioning the Italian royalties clearinghouse for copyrighted material.
Brignano also has plans to take off his director's hat after Rugantino and put on his costume as a performer and entertainer. Or, as he says, "of the fool who says apparently meaningful things".
This time, Brignano will be talking about current events.
"After a show on my mother, one on my father, one on relatives and on family outings, now I will talk about us Italians, of our follies and phobias. I will ask whether we are really in evolution, or whether we're slaves of cell phones, pixels, smiles and tattoos".
Music and images in lead roles, too, with a maxi-screen taking a whole scene, because, he concludes "today we are what we see".
Asked whether he'll be making a return to the small screen - television - Brigano said, "The TV is there. I have a 50 inch one in my livingroom. Beautiful and comfortable because it takes up a corner where no one ever knows what to put: a television or a fireplace? I have turned on the television to a channel that transmits a fireplace". (ANSA)