Bronx Playhouse Dines on Italian RAGU, Thru April 2

News   Bronx Playhouse Dines on Italian RAGU, Thru April 2 E' buona ha? Squisito ha? Ancora!

E' buona ha? Squisito ha? Ancora!

English translation: It's good, right? Tasty right? More! That's just one of the phrases listed in a press handout for Blood Type: RAGU, a solo comedy that's just been extended to April 2 at the Belmont Playhouse in Bronx, NY. Frank Giano Ingrasciotta is the writer and performer of the piece, about a family that emigrates back and forth from Sicily to America.

Dante Albertie, who recently staged Shyster, directs RAGU, which spans 29 years and features 32 characters. Beowulf Borritt has designed the set and lighting for the solo, with Hector Oliveri on sound design.

Performances for Blood Type: RAGU began Jan. 8 at the uptown playhouse, which specializes in Italian-themed works (such as Behind the Counter with Mussolini and Love in the Age of Dion). Initially, only a four-week run was planned.

Author-actor Ingrasciotta, an acting teacher trained in the Meisner technique, developed RAGU at Off-Off-Broadway's Dixon Place. He told Playbill On-Line the show was about "the first-generation child as a go-between two cultures. It should resonate with any ethnic group that's experienced this." Asked how much of the show was autobiographical and how much was fictional, Ingrasciotta replied, "It's 80 percent true, 10 percent my wife's story combined into mine, and 10 percent heightened for drama. Ultimately I'd like it to be a movie; that's the eventual vision. In fact, Robert DeNiro's production company is coming in to see it next week. There's also a possibility of taking it to Off-Broadway -- the American Place Theatre is taking a look at it, too. So we'll see." Tickets are $20. For information on Blood Type: RAGU at the Belmont Playhouse, 2385 Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, call (718) 364 4700.

Oh, and some other "Sicilian and Bastardized English Translations" used in the show? How about:

* Dio mio, ora l'uova -- "Oh my God! Now the eggs."
* Managia l'America -- "Damn this America."
* Pezza di tsoccola senza marito -- "You piece of whore without a husband."
* Porca femmina americanizata -- "An Americanized pig woman"
...and finally,
* Ayo una bruchura allu stomacu, mi fa guare gure, mi fria -- "I have a burning in my stomach that fries me like a drop of fire."

-- By David Lefkowitz