Directed by Stephen Jobes, the play explores the parallel lives of the offspring of two 20th-century icons: Palmiro Togliatti, "the passionate idealist, revolutionary, and founding member of the Italian Communist Party"; and Joseph P. Kennedy, "the willfully ambitious Irish Catholic patriarch of America's leading political family," according to press notes.
The two-actor play is a meeting between Togliatti's son (played by John Wojda) and Kennedy's daughter (played by Italian actress Mica Bagnasco).
Lunari's play has been called "a theatrical masterpiece" by Nobel Prize-winning playwright Dario Fo. A native of Lombardy, Italy, Lunari is the author of numerous plays, as well as being the official Italian translator of all Moliere's plays. He worked for over 20 years with Giorgio Strehler at the world-renowned Piccolo Teatro di Milan. His plays have been produced around the world.
Opening is set for Nov. 10. Performances play 8 PM Tuesday-Saturday; 2 PM Saturday and 3 PM Sunday (no matinee Nov. 1 and no show Nov. 11). Tickets are $46.25 and can be purchased by calling Telecharge at (212) 239-6200 or in person at the Theatre Row Box Office, 410 West 42nd Street.
Actress Mica Bagnasco is a native of Bagolino, Italy, and started working as a newscaster, commentator, comedian and entertainer at Tele Biella, Italy's public television station. She studied acting with Jeanne Moreau and Vittorio Gassman. Her New York credits include Pirandello's The Vice at the Italian Theatre Playhouse, her first one-woman show, Anna Cappelli, at the Samuel Beckett Theater, Commedia Tonight also at the Beckett and The Fourth by Mario Fratti at The Miranda Theatre. In 1999, she co-wrote and performed her autobiographical one-woman show, Made in Italy at the Currican Theatre as well as in Wichita, KS and most recently at Upstairs At Studio 54. She also appeared in The Last Flapper by William Luce at Studio 54. She co-translated Our Fathers, in October 2002 and is currently working on writing her next play, based on the life of Italian actress Eleonora Duse.
John Wojda has performed on Broadway in Present Laughter, The Merchant of Venice, Two Shakespearean Actors and Macbeth, and Off-Broadway in Ecstasy (The New Group), Black (The Women's Project), Crackdancing (Primary Stages), Henry IV (Public Theater), Henry VI (Theater for a New Audience), Queen Amarantha (WPA Theater), The Merchant of Venice (Classic Stage Company), Perfect Crime (Harold Clurman Theater) and Twister (WestBank Downstairs). He played four seasons in the resident acting company of Canada's Stratford Festival.
The Beckett Theatre is at 330 West 42nd Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues.