Ultra-popular cast with Ingrassia and Tosca D’Aquino, good direction and daring music at the Vittorio Emanuele in Messina
A co-production of the Autonomous Theater of Messina and the Teatro Stabile of Trieste The contrada, which gave the opening words to the current Vittorio Emanuele theater season, and will go on tour in Italian theatres. Forty years of career for the son of Giampiero Ingrassia, who, under the well-conducted direction of Nadia Baldi, takes on the role of Monsù Gaston, next to the Prince of Salina, a multi-faceted character, co-star, together with Tosca D ‘Aquino, interpreter of a particular cook, Teresa, full of cumbersome secrets of loving workmanship.
The colorful and industrious social class in the rear of the Leopard
And from an idea of Simona Celi, a little consumed in truth, Roberto Cavosi has staged the script through which the brilliant comedy unfolds, full of blackmail, bickering, where the underlying figure is not only irony, which in fact often gives way to sarcasm, passing through a healthy humor.
Thus, here is Teresa and the Chef competing for an ounce of attention and visibility on the upper floors, and not only with delicacies… Jealousy and envy do not allow us to spare each other cheap blows.
Quite realistic scenes of kitchen interiors from the late 19th century by Luigi Ferrigno, effective costumes by Carlo Poggioli, bombastic music by Ivo Parlati. The discreet, pleasant and entertaining show (for lovers of the genre) – and in fact it received credit and applause from the very large audience present – in my opinion has not deliberately deviated from a successful parody.
I mean that, often, in my reflections on the so-called Leopardi servitude, I have represented it to myself with different features, dialogues and context. Perhaps a greater sounding would have been expected, with a focus on the manners of the time, a more choral representation, where some emerging characters would have had to move within a frame suited to the reference novel par excellence, probably too iconic and therefore untouchable , to draw any reference. A risky operation, which, precisely because of its ambition, I consider worthy of applause. Perhaps a lack of such a direct connection would have facilitated the progress of the representation, depriving it of the burden of such a demanding comparison.
Undisputed confirmation for Ingrassia and D’Aquino convincing
If, on a dramaturgical level, I encountered these critical issues, every other aspect appeared remarkable, starting with the actor’s performance, starting from Giampiero Ingrassiaan undisputed confirmation, as a versatile theatrical actor, but also as a television face, as a conductor and singer as well as an interpreter, who makes us proud, passing through Tosca D’Aquino, very convincing as a former prostitute, such Marianna, very close in the previous twenty years to the exuberant Prince Fabrizio of Salina, so much so as to generate with him a child, who we find in the play with the standard uniform, while the mother has recycled herself in the most respectable guise of a superfine cook, becoming Teresa.
Even the performances of Giancarlo Ratti, of our fellow citizen Tommaso D’Alia, as well as of the other interpreters Rossella Pugliese and Francesco Godina, the latter, despite the indeterminacy of the reference characters, seemed well calibrated. The frequent references to iconic figures from the great Leopard fresco, the Captain, his fiancée Angelica, daughter of the wealthy Calogero Pedara and Donna Bastiana, of very humble stock, the faithful Confessor, the Princess, and the seven children, but above all Don Fabrizio, of sure effect, were not, however, sufficient to recreate the suggestions of the literary masterpiece of the late Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, such as the grandiose film, with the same title, by the famous Luchino Visconti (not taken, however, rightly, as a model in this review) .
In conclusion, in the kitchens of Palazzo Ponteleone, while forty sumptuous courses are being prepared, the ingredients, among which ricotta and cinnamon stand out, are mixed with strong passions, in that world “below” which has never been part of the glories nobles, now in decline, that kingdom of the ocelots, which in the famous dance on the upper floors consumes its last flashes of vitality, before giving way to the bourgeoisie of the nascent Italian state.
From the successful British series downton abbey, which has become an excellent cinematographic product, to a valuable movie Gosford Park by Robert Altman, set in the 1930s, the confrontation-clash between the different social classes in the same Residence has always nourished the human comedy, often overshadowing the sunset of an era, as in the precious piece in discussion, albeit with some limitations highlighted.