By Jane Heil Usyk
On November 7, 8, 9, and 10, the cultural organization Italytime will present a new version of Italy’s most famous character, Pinocchio, in Spanish. The show begins at 8 p.m. and is suitable for adults as well as children. Maureen Gonzalez, who translated the play, says, “One of Italytime’s goals since the beginning has been to perform over time our most significant plays in the most common languages in New York besides Italian, i.e., English and Spanish. For the first production in Spanish we have chosen a play written for us, as usual, by Dacia Maraini, Silvia Calamai and Paolo Tartamella about Pinocchio, since he is the most world-renowned Italian character.”
The play will be presented in the theater beneath Our Lady of Pompeii Church at Carmine and Bleecker Streets, entrance at 25B Carmine Street. Vittorio Capotorto will direct.
The group previously presented Pinocchio in English, in March of 2018.
Maureen Gonzalez, a native of Galicia, Spain, translates in three languages: Spanish, English, and Italian. She has been assisting Vittorio Capotorto and translating plays for Italytime for about ten years. They specialize in modern Italian playwrights. Vittorio directed over a hundred plays while in Italy, as well as in Argentina, Austria, Spain and Sudan. In 1997, he emigrated to New York, and has been directing plays here since then.
Among Italytime’s previous live presentations have been Creative Fusion, Cabaret Opera, and Nativity in the City, all directed by Vittorio Capotorto. They also show Italian movies with English subtitles; among them have been all of the Don Camillo movies starring Fernandel; Riso Amaro (“Bitter Rice”), starring Silvana Mangano; and Mine Vaganti, (“Loose Cannons”), a 2010 comedy that takes place in Italy’s south. There have been many concerts, some focusing on one composer, such as Duke Ellington or George Gershwin.
Pinocchio, originally a novel, was written in 1883 by Italian Carlo Collodi, a pseudonym for Carlo Lorenzini. Pinocchio is an Italian hero, as Superman and Batman are ours. It is a very different story from the Disney version. This production takes three sections of the book and reinvents them. Dacia Maraini, a successful Italian playwright and novelist, wrote the “Fairy” section. Silvia Calamai wrote the “Cat and Fox” episode. Paolo Tartamella wrote “Pinocchio in Playland.”
Vittorio Capotorto says, “The Italian Cultural Center and Literary Cafe, both elements of Italytime, meet in Father Demo Hall in Our Lady of Pompeii Church, offering culture—movies, theater, concerts, readings, and discussions in various forms and languages. Initiated by the previous pastor, Walter Tonelotto, and now with Pastor Angelo Plodari, the Center is becoming a cultural home for the neighborhood. We would like to extend an invitation to all neighborhood residents to participate in our activities.”
Refreshments such as pizza and hot and cold drinks will be available in the theater before and after the play.
Tickets cost $25.00 and are available at www.italytime.org/box-office and at the door.