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Review: SECONDO at Theaterworks Hartford

Review: SECONDO at Theaterworks Hartford

This sweet comedy runs through August 28th

My second visit to Theaterworks Hartford was to see Secondo and that cute coincidence is just the start of the fun. Theaterworks sets the scene with upbeat music, creating a lively atmosphere for this light-hearted and charming comedy.

Written by Jacques Lamarre, Secondo is the sequel to "I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti" and based on the stories of Giulia Melucci. Giulia, played by Antoinette Lavecchia, invites the audience into her home kitchen to recount tales of love and marriage. Featuring a picture frame with perfect timing and a judgmental Alexa, Secondo is a heartwarming and clever comedy not to be missed.

Set in Brooklyn, a decade after "I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti", our Italian-American hostess greets the audience, "It's been a long time," and the audience emphatically responded in agreement. It's clear that Guilia is a beloved character who Connecticut audiences have missed dearly.

Giulia explains that she's gearing up for her tenth wedding anniversary and preparing a special meal for her English husband, Gavin. She welcomes us into her home, recounting how she met her Englishman and the frogs she kissed along the way. Each time her cell phone rings, we piece together the puzzle that is her life's story. We come to know and love her kind doorman, Harmon, Whole Foods employee, Bob, deadbeat ex-boyfriend, Mitch, and savvy mother, all while Giulia deftly prepares a three-course meal from scratch.

Antoinette Lavecchia (Broadway credits: Torch Song, A View from the Bridge and TheaterWorks Hartford I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti, The Laramie Project) has excellent comic timing and a wonderful rapport with the audience, serving up hard truths alongside clever cooking wordplay. Every time she drops a truth bomb, the audience nods in agreement and can't help but animatedly chatter to their friends with excitement.

The set is perfection. We arrived to a gorgeous luxury kitchen with dark teal and white cabinetry, marble counter tops, and a butcher block island. Glass containers filled with ingredients, utensils, a Kitchenaid mixer, and wood knife block adorn the countertops. The best part: It's a fully-working kitchen and LaVecchia is really cooking up a storm! The fantastic aromas of sautéed shallots in butter drew us into the story and added another impressive layer to her performance. My only disappointment: That I didn't get to have a taste!

The creative team is a winner:

Director/Producing Artistic Director: Rob Ruggiero

Associate Director - Zoe Golub-Sass

Set Design - Brian Prather

Costume Design - Alejo Vietti

Lighting Design - Carter Miller

Sound Design - Beth Lake

Stage Manager - Tom Kosis

Secondo is refreshing, sweet, and pairs perfectly with a Summer evening in Connecticut. Get your tickets now, it's only on through August 28th and you don't want to miss it.

Regional Awards


From This Author - Ariana Straznicky-Packer

No stranger to the stage, Ariana Straznicky-Packer is a professional violinist whose heart belongs to Broadway. A classically-trained musician, actress, vocalist, and writer, she is full of surpris... (read more about this author)


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