Film and TV actor Danny Aiello headlines a reading of Louis LaRusso II's latest play, The December Song, 8 PM Mar. 2 at the Westbank Cafe in New York City.
Set in Greenwich Village in 1959, the work is about the end of the Beat Generation era. Aiello will play a once-great poet. His colleagues for the reading are Tahnee Welch (daughter of Raquel), Frank Bongiorno, Janet Sarno (a frequent LaRusso actress), Dan Mastrogiorgio and Brocton Pierce.
Aiello, known for such films as "Do the Right Thing" and "Moonstruck," and the recent TV series, "Dellaventura," made an early-career appearance in LaRusso's Lamppost Reunion, which earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Play in 1975. Aiello's other stage appearances include the original production of Albert Innaurato's Gemini.
"It's Greek tragedy," LaRusso told Playbill On-Line. "There's a lot humor in it, but it's a very dark play. It's about the decline of the Beat Generation in December 1959, as the temperature of the village is changing from the angry movement of the beatniks to this more passive love movement of the hippies."
Into the Manhattan loft of the poet comes a young woman from his hometown. She adores him and his work, but "has a limited time to live." LaRusso didn't want to reveal to much about the relationship, but said she represents the original "flower child."
Del Jack and Peter Petrosino are producers of The December Song, which is hoped to have a full production -- with Aiello attached -- in New York City later in 1999.
LaRusso is known for his many plays set in his hometown, Hoboken, NJ. Among his titles are Knockout and Wheelbarrow Closers.
The reading is open to industry people.
-- By Kenneth Jones