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Mambo Italiano 

Gay, Italian, and Canadian: What could be more confusing?

Wednesday, Feb 9 2005
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Steve Galluccio's comedy describes what it's like growing up gay and Italian in Canada as if it's some particularly horrible and unsightly affliction, a bit like the King's Evil or Blue Rubber Bleb Nevus. When Angelo, a young buck who lives in Montreal with his lover and old school chum, Nino, decides to come out to his overbearing Italian parents, the bruschetta hits the fan. Mama and Papa turn a ghastly shade of white, dead relations turn in their graves, and Galluccio gleefully turns the stage into a set for a TV sitcom, complete with a cast of clichéd characters in wafer-thin situations. The New Conservatory Theatre Center's actors have a lot of fun with this histrionic play, forging chuckles even at the most groan-worthy one-liners with their silly walks and canned Italian accents ("What's-a wrong-a with-a living-a at-a home-a?"). Camilla Busnovetsky is particularly charming as the local construction company heiress and "nice Italian gal," Pina: The way she flips from girlish sobs about being boyfriendless to Mafia don vulgarity when she's bellowing down the phone at her employees is highly endearing. In fact, people shout a great deal in this production. It's not just to do with the fact that they're portraying a bunch of Italians; it's because of the ever-present soundtrack. There's hardly a scene that isn't accompanied by music. From blasts of "That's Amore!" to gusts of Górecki, this "mood" music, played at high volume, doesn't enhance what's happening onstage.

About The Author

Chloe Veltman

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