The Rossario Brothers in Rhode Island

What better way to reinvigorate a blog about Connecticut than by…going to Rhode Island? I went over to Westerly to see “The Rossario Brothers”, a comedy by Eugene J. Celico. Here’s a Westerly Sun writeup from last week; I read it when I got back and I think Nancy Burns-Fusaro covered it well. As for my own impressions: it’s a madcap comedy that reminded me in places of the Marx Brothers and even the Three Stooges (partly because the three brothers who run the funeral home really don’t like each other, and partly because Angelo’s hair is more than a bit Larryish). There was even some dialect (mostly Italian) humor. I have a lousy ear for accents and I don’t always know how to take dialect humor, but I’m always amazed when people can put on different accents. It’s a mysterious art to me. (All this went over well with the audience.) But along with the mayhem, there is some unexpected eloquence–especially a soliloquy by Angelo (Bruce Celico) about how he can’t stand working with his insane older brother Sal any more.

It’s long (2½ hours, with one intermission), quite energetic, and loud. Sal (Greg Bliven) in particular is loud (and it’s a fairly live room), but so are most of these people. Some of the sight gags made me almost fall off the chair (which, by the way, was of the folding variety). Slapstick with some moments of genuine feeling. Ten minutes in, I was thinking that spending an evening at the Rossario Brothers Funeral Parlor might have been a mistake; but I ended up enjoying it immensely.

If you want to go: tomorrow and Saturday at 7:30, Sunday at 2:00. St. Piux X Church is on Elm St. just north of Cross St. There’s a parking lot on the west side of Elm; allow a couple of extra minutes because the street lighting is pretty much nonexistent and if you’re at all like me, you’ll miss the entrance the first time by. $14 to get in, which is a bargain.

(Uh, I guess I’m out of practice at this. I forgot to mention that the company is the Stage Door Theater.)

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