Mambo Italiano: The Feel Good Musical For Everyone

Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 By: Irene Wallace Source: I On The Valley

A fun and a light-hearted new musical, Mambo Italiano has arrived at the Westchester Broadway Theater.  This Pre-Broadway run of this musical is based on a Canadian film of the same name and has been adapted as a musical by Jean Cheever and Tom Polum.

The setting of the musical is in South Jersey where the Barbieri family led by the loveable but controlling grandmother Maria and her husband Gino, struggle to operate their long-established Italian restaurant, “Famiglia Italiana”.   For twenty years they have labored at the restaurant and have raised their two grandchildren,   Anna and Angelo.   The grandparents labor to keep open the restaurant, but also keep alive the traditions of Italy, the memory of their daughter and preserve the family. This means everything to them.

The grandchildren, now grown have their own ideas of moving out defying the Italian tradition of staying home until married.  Angelo does not want to stay in the family business but instead wants to follow in his mother’s dream of being a dancer.  The changing world, new moral attitudes, and traditions are dealt with humor in this very funny and family-friendly performance.

Though the themes of traditions, family struggle and self-identity are dramatic, the musical lightens up and the audience is treated to fun, catchy songs, great vocal performances and most of all a celebration of love and family.  A feel-good musical to which everyone can relate.  There are lots of laughs, memorable songs and stand out vocal performances.

The musical stars  Joy Hermalyn as the grandmother, Maria Barbieri, Bill Nolte as Gino Barbieri. The grandkids are played by Alex Drost (Angelo Barbieri), and Alexandra Amadeo Frost (Anna Barbieri), Diana DiMarzio (as Lina Paventi), Natalie Gallo (as Donna Lunetti), Zach Schanne (as Nino Paventi). With:  Alexandra Adinah, Aaron Patrick Craven, A.J. Hunsucker, Stuart Marland, Corey Masklee, Laura Stracko, Mackenqie Rogers, Halle Mastroberardino.

 The casting of the play was particularly well done as the cast were convincing and in their roles and presented to the audience relatable characters.

Mambo Italiano is the musical where you will leave the theater happy and humming the theme song.  And you won't leave hungry either, as the WBT serves dinner right before the performance.  Mangia!