The Garinei and Giovannini hit musical comedy Rugantino, which is currently playing the final performances of a four months sell-out run at Rome's Teatro Sistina, may enjoy a Broadway transfer in the year 2000.
Director Pietro Garinei told Rome daily newspaper Il Messaggero that he is dealing with impresario Alexander H. Cohen, who brought the original production of Rugantino to the United States in the early Sixties. It is not clear, at the moment, if the show will be translated into English or will be sung in Italian with English subtitles.
The 1998 revival of Rugantino has grossed over 6 billion lire (3.4 million U.S. dollars) at the box office, beating the record established last season by the first Italian production of Grease.
Rugantino is perhaps the most popular comedy ever written by the golden couple of the Italian musical theatre, Pietro Garinei and Sandro Giovannini. The show, whose score by Armando Trovajoli includes many popular songs such as "Roma nun fa' la stupida stasera" ("Rome, Don't Be Stupid Tonight"), had not been seen by Italian audiences for over twenty years. The original production of Rugantino dates back to 1963; many still remember the memorable performances of Nino Manfredi, Lea Massari, Aldo Fabrizi and Bice Valori. Since then, the musical comedy enjoyed a highly successful revival in the mid-Seventies and traveled to America, Canada and Russia.
The cast of the 1998 revival of Rugantino is led by the popular actress Sabrina Ferilli, who recently starred in a revival of Un paio d'ali (A Pair of Wings), another Garinei and Giovannini hit, and teen-ager idol Valerio Mastandrea. Also featuring in a cast of 34 are Maurizio Mattioli and Simona Marchini. The show is directed by Pietro Garinei and features scenes and costumes by Giulio Coltellacci and choreography by Gino Landi. Rugantino will be playing at Rome's Teatro Sistina thru April 23 and is scheduled to return on December 21 (the show is booking to March 2000). A cast recording of the 1998 Rome production is available. For further information check the Rugantino website.
--By Stefano Curti