Posts Tagged With: life in an Italian Village

E Fuori Nevica! Repeat Performances

Bravo!  This February 12th, Forum Giovani di Pontelandolfo produced E Fuori Nevica!  The young actors had only planned on one performance – wrong!  The show was so well recieved that an encore performance is being presented stasera, tonight, Friday, February 24, 2017.

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2’nd Chance to See the Play!

Enthusiasm for the actors, the play and the project has moved beyond the boundaries of Pontelandolfo.  The play will also be touring to Casalduni and Fragnetto!    Whew – my enthusiasm is leaping ahead.  You’re probably wondering who, what, where…

WHO:  Forum Giovani di Pontelandolfo is the association of young adults that actively endeavors to bring culture, entertainment and a grand good time to the village.  Many of them were involved in the July, 2016 collaborative theatrical production of Sacro di Santa GiocondinaThe production was so well received and such a positive experience for the young thespians that they wanted to continue to bring quality theater to the community.

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“It’s Snowing Outside” presented in Teatro San Rocco

The comedy deals with the familiar theme of family relationships and dealing with a handicapped sibling.  The characters include: the burgeoning musician, Enzo, played by Gennaro Santopietro; Cico, suffering from autism, played by Antonio Del Ciampo (President of the Forum); Giovanni Ruggiero plays Stefano, the brother with an excessive sense of responsibility; and Valerio Mancini (my handsome cousin in blue blazer) plays the notary.  Paola Corbo and Jonathan Moavero provided technical support.

WHAT:  E Fuori Nevica! by Vincenzo Salemme is the tale of three brothers thrust together by their mother’s death.  In order for the three men to inherit from mom, they had to live together .  That means three incredibly different personalities – including an autistic adult, obsessive, and bopper – find themselves in the same house.  The story is hilarious, touching and heartfelt. Author, Salemme, born in Bacoli, Province of Naples, is a familiar comedic actor and writer.  He worked with the prestigious company of Eduardo De Filippo and has written and starred in numerous films.  You might recognize him from the RAI series Da Nord a Sud… e ho detto tutto!

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WHERE:   The City Council granted Forum Giovani free use of sala-teatro Papa Giovanni Paolo.  The multi purpose room is behind Chiesa San Rocco on Via San Rocco.

I am in New Jersey and this is happening tonight in Pontelandolfo!  ERRRRRRRRG.

Ci vediamo.

 

Categories: Any Day in Pontelandolfo | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Didn’t… Musings On Returning to the USA

Thursday morning – yikes that’s domani – we will be in Naples starting the first leg of our journey home.  For the past few days my chest has been caving further and further into my core.  Each day the depression and sadness pushes on my heart chakra.  We have been in Pontelandolfo for six months integrating further and further into village life.  Today we are closing up the house and deciding what we leave behind to languish until we  return.  Suddenly,  all the things I didn’t do starting hitting me in the face.  The list I made – what list you ask?  The list that seemed so important in New Jersey.  The list that made me feel like I wasn’t some pensioner with nothing to contribute to the world. 

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The list that made me feel vital to myself.  I didn’t complete the list

I didn’t take the autobus from Piazza Roma to Naples – just for the hell of it.  Folks say it is two hours of curvy mountain roads and worse it leaves at 7:15 AM.  The return bus leaves at 2:00 PM so what could you really do in Naples in 5 hours?  I don’t know because I didn’t take the bus.

I didn’t finish my family tree.  Armed with the latest version of Family Tree Maker and printed reports to share with family and strangers here, I added about  6 things total.  My grandmother’s side goes back to the 1600s – thanks to Antimo Albini.  ( Read that story at – http://wp.me/p3rc2m-9P)  But what of my grandfather’s side?  It was his search that I started 20 years ago and the line only goes back to 1820.  It is bis-nonno, Salvatore Guerrera’s extended family that I spend time with here.  Are there others for me to meet?  I don’t know because I didn’t contact Antimo this year to help me finish the fakakata tree.

I didn’t write a sexy romance novel based on “Divorcing Daddy”, my graduate school thesis screenplay.  Since I couldn’t figure out how to sell a screenplay and have read Nora Roberts entire canon as well as all of Janet Evanovich, I figured I could take my romantic comedy and turn it into a comedic novel.  I even started – came up with the concept and through line – and spent a day musing over the ins and out of novel writing.  I don’t know if I would be successful because I didn’t spend a second day on the project.

I didn’t seriously continue studying Italian.  Oh, I can get us fed, put gas in the car and chat with folks who speak Italian – not dialect – very slowly.  But we had car problems and I didn’t have a clue what the mechanic was saying.  I still don’t completely understand the medical system because my vocabulary ain’t there.  And, frankly, I sound like what I am – a middle aged plus American who isn’t studying everyday to improve.  I don’t know if I can get better because I didn’t hit the books daily or even watch Italian television.

Cazzo – you are probably bored with my rant.  Jack – who I hate when he is right — keeps reminding me that we are in Italy and I don’t have to accomplish shit.  Just live il dolce far niente – the sweet life of doing nothing.  My ever-loving crazy family and friends here, in London, Ecuador and in USA have reminded  me what I have indeed accomplished and suggest I buck the heck up.  Alexandra Rose, my worldly London based niece asked, “Do you realize how unique you are – how many people do you personally know who leave their home towns and live outside of America?”

Well I sputtered you, Marie and Jan, George and, and…  She had me. I bucked up.

I may not have taken the bus to Naples but did explore other parts of Italy that I hadn’t seen before.

I may not have finished the family tree but I did discover and became friends with a cousin and his wife that I hadn’t known.  I hadn’t met them before this year and truly enjoy hanging out with both Dominico and Suzi.

I may not have finished the novel but I did finish two plays – Mamma Mia La Befana and Flagtown Fem-Militia.  During September I committed myself to sending scripts to over thirty theaters and competitions.  One LA theater actually asked for the full version of Flagtown Fem-Militia after reading a ten page sample.  Please send a prayer to the theatre goddess.  (Anyone know any theaters in towns with a high concentration of Italians that would love a play based on La Befana?)

I didn’t, I coulda’, I shoulda’ – hell time to toss those words in the trash and just remember that I’ll return to my Italian home next year.  Today I made the rounds in Pontelandolfo hugging the folks that I love.  Joyfully, tomorrow I will  start hugging the family and friends that I love dearly in New Jersey.

Ci Vediamo a Presto!

Categories: Any Day in Pontelandolfo | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Festa Di San Donato — Comicron – Days 5 & 6

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There I was, rifling through my tiny little notebook, looking for a clue as to what happened on day five of the festa. The seven day event filled party had addled my brain. Movie? 9:30 – what the hell did that mean.  I pulled up the Festa poster to read the list.  Cripes!  There are 8 – I counted – 8 days of late night events, drinks, etc.  No wonder I can’t remember.  Whack – it hit me – what did movie mean – just the biggest event to happen here – Comicron.  A two day film festival that drew entries from all over the world.  Note it was a TWO day even – so I only have to write one blog. The web site is slick – http://www.comicronfilmfestival.it – and states:

Il Comicron international short film festival nasce da un’idea di Ugo Gregoretti di creare un’inedita manifestazione dedicata esclusivamente ai cortometraggi comici. Un’esperienza in grado di scoprire nuovi talenti…

The Comicron international short film festival grew from the idea of Ugo Gregoretti to create an unprecedented event dedicated exclusively to comedy shorts.  An experience that allows us to discover new talent …

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This festival and the drawing power of Artistic Director Maestro Ugo Gregoretti, attracted a huge well heeled audience  – including the red carpet crowd. They made the mistake of setting up the red carpet during the day – so that any old riff-raff could strut their stuff – like me!

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Red Carpet? It must be out for me!

Slick, slick, slick. The roadies and volunteers were all dressed in red t-shirts, had communication equipment and moved about with purpose. High end ear buds could be seen on crew chiefs scurrying about with clip boards. Banners from the highway led you to the piazza.  The banners were a nice touch and perked up the streets.

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We got there in plenty of time, sat on the red chairs and made sure I wasn’t sitting behind a tall person. The show was slated to start at 9:30 and being run by professionals so we knew curtain would be at 9:30.  Sitting there, I discovered that being on time was actually late.  The cutting of the ribbon and parade down the faux red carpet had started earlier – rats!!!

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Maestro Gregoretti cuts the opening ribbon.             DEZPHOTO

 

Having the attention span of a gnat, I promptly started looking around – whoa flowers on the down stage edge.  That’s a nice touch and the screen is huge.  It was obvious that the A-team had done the setup, the stage was nicely dressed and lit.  Suddenly, I noticed that everyone was pointing to the front – must be someone famous – it is!  Sarah Maestri was here – she is an incredibly famous Italian film, television and radio star!!!!  She also just recently released a novel that has become a best seller.  Of course, I was here on time and didn’t get to meet her – ugggg.

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Sarah Maestri and her daughter walking down the red carpet.    DEZPHOTO

Scared you – thought you wouldn’t see her face!  Don’t worry in the next photo we have Giorgio Arlorio, Sarah Maestri, Ugo Gregoretti and our own Sindaco Rinaldi.  H’mmmm I bet you are wondering who Giorgio Arlorio is – just an incredibly successful screenwriter with tons of film and television credits.

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On the big screen, the asino – donkey of yesterday’s Pontelandolfo came to life and licked the screen revealing Comicron!  The wait for the show to start was broken by counting how many times they would repeat the mule action accompanied by some killer swing music. Then the graphic changed.  The music changed.  The lights changed.  I raced home and changed.

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The producers of Comicron are in the film business so the film work and the digitized graphics was top shelf.  Media held our attention and signaled what was going on. You didn’t need a program because the art infused graphics let you know who was on stage and why.  The hosts, Laura Abbaleo and Rino Genovese were real pros and a welcome change from the creepy guy of the night before.  Unfortunately, they had to read an incredibly long list of sponsors but moved it rapidly.  Now those names should have been on an opening graphic and we could have read it while we were waiting.  I got just a tad antsy. The duo really impressed me when I realized they were verbally synching with images that were flashing behind them!

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Two real pros! DEZPHOTO

They opened the show with a home town favorite, Ri Ualanegli Juonior, performing Gioca Dei Bambini.  Sadly, many in the audience left their seats after the little dancers performed.

Young Pontelandolfesi. DEZPHOTO

Young Pontelandolfesi.
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Don’t you leave your seat – check out the dance.  I shot their concert in June and you’ll see Gioca Dei Bambini,  the traditional dance that everyone loves.  The opening is kids playing games – the dancing is a few seconds past that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KENVFeHVNg 

The folks that scurried out of their seats didn’t go far because the kids also performed at the very end of the night.   I was gone by then and really couldn’t grasp why you would have little kids stay up until 12:30 to be the finale of a film festival.  Oh, I get it – audience numbers.  I don’t think the programmers needed to do that.  The audience – like me – was there to see this international slate of short comic films.  The red carpet notables were another big draw.

Speaking of unnecessary fill – the night also featured additional live entertainment of of the well known professional variety. Next up, after the spirited young dancers was comic Antonio Riscetti.  I appreciated his political humor and the fact that he spoke slowly and beautifully enough for me to understand.

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Comic at a Comic Film Festival makes sense! DEZPHOTO

Finally, we got to see the first set of three films. Then a singer came on who had starred in Notre Dame de Paris – It was already 11:00 ish we didn’t need another famous person we wanted to see the next set of films.  I was a bad girl and got up and walked around to get a drink.

Let’s talk about the movies. The professionalism of cinema, writing and editing varied. All were well done but some reminded me of silly student films – you know slap stick and stupid sophomoric ideas. I mean “Mafia University” – come on. I loved the well scripted and thought out Fulgenzia – Until A Name You Do Part.

The next night an additional six films were shown – sans a lot of the extra entertainment.

Young actress Giusy Mancini with famous comic Max Cavallari.  See - famous folks both nights! DEZPHOTO

Young actress Giusy Mancini with famous comic Max Cavallari. See – famous folks both nights!
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They flowed on to the grand denouement – the announcement of the winners!

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Two happy directors with their prizes.

The winning young director was Sydney Sibilia.   Lets keep our eyes and ears open for him!   To see all the winners visit the Comicron Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/comironfilmfestival/

Happy film watching.  I’m going to bed.

Categories: Any Day in Pontelandolfo, Stops Along the Journey - Sites Off the Tourist Track | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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