In 1969, more than four decades ago, the great happening was on a 600-acre dairy farm owned by Max Yasgur in the Catskill Mountains, near Bethel, New York when 500,000 flower children celebrated Woodstock. Today, the festivities are much closer to home, on Wooster Street in New Haven, and the locale is much smaller and more intimate, the garden patio of Consiglio’s Restaurant, but the goal is the same: a festival of peace, music and fun: GarlicStock!
This summer you are once again invited to dine outdoors on Saturday evenings at 6 p.m., with a few select Sundays, until the weekend after Labor Day to welcome “The Return of Count Fangula.” Penned by playwright Elizabeth Fuller, called the Queen of Spaghetti Musicals, the musical evening is stuffed like manicotti with cheesy silliness.
Leave your inhibitions at home and sit back and simply enjoy the fun as Gary Cavello alternates personas as the devilishly sinister vampire Count Fangula, clad in black satin cape and top hat, battles with his alter ego the purely heavenly Johnny Angel, complete with fluffy white wings.
The Aglio family, led by Mama, is fighting the dastardly and dreaded garlic weevils that are threatening their crop of premiere garlic bulbs, their livelihood. Daughter Diana, the lovely Laura Papallo, is engaged to be married but is not certain Giovanni is the right mate for her. When her adopted brother Tony Bob, a sincerely conflicted Michael Sayers, is knocked unconscious, he dreams he has forsaken his career as a hairdresser to pursue his fantasy of being impresario of a three day Music Festivale called GarlicStock.
Don’t be worried if you’re having trouble following the plot as you’ll probably find yourself on stage as part of the action, as a singing Frank Sinatra, a dancing weevil, a contestant in the beauty contest or Cupid with his hearts and arrows. The actors are so busy singing and having a hoot that you will too. A few glasses of vino don’t hurt.
PJ Letersky provides all the great songs like “Diana,” “Stupid Cupid,” and “Volare” that you are invited to sing. Even the pizza makers at Frank Pepe’s next door get into the action. Gary Cavello directs this fun fest with fervor.
This is dinner theater and the performance is preceded by a delicious feast of hot crusty garlic bread, Caesar salad, penne a la vodka, and chicken Francese on a bed of fresh spinach. At intermission, the meal is completed with a sweet rum flavored tiramisu. All so good!
For reservations ($65), call Consiglio’s, 165 Wooster Street, New Haven at 203-865-4489 or online at www.consiglios.com.
Let Count Fangula and his friends welcome you to GarlicStock in Calabria, Italy where you can eat, sing, dance and laugh your way to a happily ever after ending. Mangia!