The journalist who covers theatre for the Los Angeles Times and NY1's cable show “On Stage” is currently in Poughkeepsie, toiling over the script for a one-person show called My Life With Men . . . and Other Animals starring Maria Cassi. The show is being given four workshop presentations at Vassar's New York Stage and Film — July 16 and 17 at 8; July 18 at 2 and 7 — at the Susan Stein Shiva Theatre.
Peter Schneider, former head of Disney animation and the creator-producer of “Waking Sleeping Beauty,” is the director and prime mover of this stage project.
“About two years ago,” reports Pacheco, “Peter stumbled into a restaurant in Florence, Italy. Connected to the restaurant was a theatre called Teatro Del Sale, and there he saw this Florentine performance artist, Maria Cassi, who knocked him out.”
So much so, says Pacheco, that Schneider presented her theatre piece — titled Crepapelle, which translates roughly into Laughing Till Your Sides Split — at the Pasadena Playhouse — “just a black box, three workshops for the subscribers."
“I saw it at that point, and Peter suggested putting together a show that displayed her very unique comedic talents — she’s something of a clown — so I made about a half-dozen trips to Florence where Maria and I had long conversations and together wrote this show, which we workshopped at the Teatro Del Sale. Last month, it was at the Spoleto 53 Festival in Umbria, Italy, for ten performances. Now, Poughkeepsie.
“It’s an autobiographical monologue with songs and comedy, in English and Italian, about her adventures and relationships, in Italy and America — in particular with a chef who teaches her about the power of food. Jamie Edwards is music director.”
New York is the goal but not on the immediate horizon. “I think there are some tentative plans to do it in Milan next. It’s in a workshop-development situation.”
— Harry Haun