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Theatre department provides unique offering in Italian musical revue

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Last weekend, Alpha Psi Omega, the national honorary theater society, and SLU theater presented “Storia Italiana: An Original Musical Revue” at the Studio Blackbox Theater.
The student-produced cabaret, directed by Mollie Amburgey and Kristin Rion, used a wide range of music to tell a story. This story centered around four couples in magical Italy. Not quite a musical but not quite a play, the cabaret had no specific script, but the actors sang specific songs the entire time and had well-choreographed dances.
The setting was 1950s New York City and Ascoli Piceno, Italy. Interestingly, the mood of the play varied depending on the song being sung, from the glamour of songs like “Sway” and “Mambo Italiano” by Dean Martin, to the theatrical, bold “Be Italian” from the musical “Nine” and “Stupid Cupid” by Connie Francis.
It was certain that the cabaret was able to fit together sophisticated, classical songs from the 1950s, such as “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin, and songs from today, such as “Quando, Quando, Quando” by Michael Buble. The actors themselves sang and danced very well.
In addition, it was fascinating to recognize the integration of music into American culture in the 1950s culture.
Both Sinatra and Martin were great names in American music and were both also of Italian descent. The song choices were built into the story. Rion, the scenic artist, modeled the sets after Italy and  New York, complete with piazzas and visions of “Little Italy.”
The show was captivating, and offered a small taste of what 1950s Italy must have been like, something most people today probably could not relate to.
Amburgey, Rion and company will also be holding a series of one-acts in December at the blackbox theater. One-acts are small plays which last approximately 20 minutes each.
SLU’s one-acts will feature plays written by David Ives, Richard Greenberg, Darryl Watson and Christopher Durang. The performances will be produced and directed by students.

One Comment

  1. sweetgenius326 says:

    Although the song was recently re-popularized by Michael Bublé, “Quando Quando Quando” was written and copyrighted in 1962 by lyricist Alberto Testa and composer Tony Renis.

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