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La festa

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Theatre Review – Mar. 23, 11

Canadian Stage/Spotlight.Italy – Compagnia Scimone Sframeli

Reviewed by Paula Citron

La festa
Compagnia Scimone Sframeli
Written by Spiro Scimone
Directed by Gianfelice Imparato
Performed by Francesco Sframeli, Spiro Scimone and Gianluca Cesale
Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs
Mar. 22 to 26, 2011

The first week of Canadian Stage’s Spotlight.Italy featured an early play by the scintillating Sicilian company Scimone Sframeli. This second week features their latest play.

La festa is an ironic title of ever there was. The focus is on a family. Francesco Sframeli is the father, Spiro Scimone is the mother and Gianluca Cesale is the son Gianni. The structure of the play is a series of vignettes separated by driving percussive music by Sergio Tramonti. Gianfelice Imparato has directed with tongue-in-cheek.

Scimone’s performance as the mother is astonishing. Although he is garbed in a housedress, there is no attempt to conceal that he is a man. At first one thinks that the mother is a victim of abuse, as she is almost hit by her husband several times. As the play goes on, she is just as verbally abusive as the male members of the family.

Life as dark humour indeed.

La festa continues at Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs until Mar. 26.

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