Monday, April 27, 2015


If you marry a classic fairy tale with a specific family history, title it "Cinderella Italiano," you might expect a glass slipper filled with spaghetti.  Until Saturday, May 9, Pantochino Productions invites you to take a magic ride to the sunny Italian countryside for frolic and fun, courtesy of Bert Bernardi for book and lyrics and Justin Rugg for music.

Caution:  don't come to the show hungry, unless you have reservations at an Italian restaurant nearby.  The show is at the Milford Center for the Arts so plan ahead.  As tradition dictates, a much overworked and unappreciated Cinderella, adorably captured by Mary Mannix, has a hard life trying 

to please her impossible stepmother, the demanding Shelly Marsh Poggio, and her disagreeable stepsisters brought to less than charming life by Jimmy Johansmeyer and Jeremy Tortotora (you should be laughing already).

Of course, the villagers (all the eligible young women, that is, like Kylie Poggio, Peyton Iott, Meg Cardi and Cassie Gerace) are all agog over the sudden appearance of the most eligible bachelor Prince Spaghetti, handsomely presented in the personage of Justin Rugg.  His mama, Queen Regina, regally prominent thanks to Maria Berte, wants only the best for her son and heir.

To that end, when he spies a lovely lass but fails to learn her name or where she lives (Cinderella, of course), the Queen schedules a ball (a grand dance, not the sports game kind) in the hopes the mystery maiden will appear. Thanks to an ingenious and slightly devious Godmother (note the lack of the word Fairy in her name), in the clever character of George Spelvin, Cinderella is able to get her dance card filled with the Prince's name.

With a lot of inspired singing and dancing, incredible costumes by Jimmy Johansmeyer and the mention of every Italian food from manicotti to meatballs to mascarpone, "Cinderella Italiano" is a pure and spicy delight, garlic cloves and all.  There's even a magic ingredient to help Cinderalls get her man.

For tickets ($18 online, $20 at the door), call Pantochino Productions at 203-937-6206 or online at  Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.  Take note that Tuesday, May 5 from 8 a.m. to Wednesday, May 6 at 8 p.m. is The Great Give 2015 where you can pledge financial support to this great and deserving 501C3 non-profit.  Go to  Every dollar donated with be matched.

So what if you're sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese instead of fairy dust, this spoof of Cinderella is sure to please everyone in the family, capeesh?

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