New Musical NONI CIMINO'S KITCHEN to Debut in Milford
Inspired by memories of growing up in a large Italian-American family, the new musical offers a slice of life into the Cimino family and its matriarch, simply called "Noni" (derived from the Italian word for grandmother). When one of her delicious recipes gains national attention, her big, boisterous family-children, grandchildren, neighbors -bubble with excitement and emotion. Bert Bernardi has written the book and lyrics with Justin Rugg composing the original score. The show is sponsored in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven.
"It's about the loves, joys, ups and downs of being part of a tight knit family," said Bernardi. "'Noni' represents everyone's grandmother-sweet, proud, generous and always right," he added. The playwright further explains "Don't forget the food! It's an important part of a family, Italiano or otherwise." The musical pays tribute to everything from meatballs to lasagna and to Noni's famous recipe for 'chicken pizziaola.'
Making her debut with Pantochino, and in the title role is Raeleen D'Agsatino Mautner, author of "Lemons into Lemoncello" and "Living la Dolce Vita." Mautner is the former host and producer of "The Italian Art of Living Well," a radio show on WNHU and a columnist for The Italian Tribune. She is joined by company members including co-producer Jimmy Johansmeyer, Shelley Marsh Poggio, Mary Mannix, Maria Berte, Hannah Duffy, Brianna Joy Jackson, Rugg and newcomers Mia Davi and Emily Kopstein. The new musical will features sets by Von Del Mar, costumes by Johansmeyer, lighting by Jeff Car, sound by Sara Brown and Alejandro Lopez will stage manage.
"Noni Cimino's Kitchen" will be performed April 21 through May 7 with shows Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $20. online, or $22. at the door. Advance tickets are strongly suggested. Seating will be at tables and chairs and audiences are invited to bring their own food and drink to enjoy during the performance. The intimate Milford Center for the Arts is located at 40 Railroad Avenue South on the east bound side of the Metro-North tracks. Free parking is available in the train station lots. Further details are available at pantochino.com.