Sacred Heart University Community Theatre Will Perform THE PETRILLOS

Performances run from June 21-23.

By: May. 24, 2024
Sacred Heart University Community Theatre Will Perform THE PETRILLOS
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TrailBlazing Productions, a new nonprofit theatre company providing a platform for writers to further develop their works while collaborating with classic stars from the stage and screen, will launch its first production on June 21 at the Sacred Heart University Community Theatre.

The company will debut The Petrillos, a new farce written by TrailBlazing’s founder, and SHU alum, Justin Weigel ’20, and will star Aida Turturro, best known for her Emmy-nominated portrayal of Janice Soprano in HBO’s acclaimed series The Sopranos. Turturro will take on the role of Angela, the indomitable matriarch of the Petrillo family. Alongside Turturro, the inaugural production will feature Sopranos’ alums Robert Funaro as Angela’s brother, Sal, and John Fiore as the Petrillo patriarch, Vinny. Funaro and Fiore are best known for their iconic roles as Eugene Pontecorvo and Gigi Cestone.

The Petrillos, set in Westchester County, NY, takes place on the night of Lyndon's proposal to Olivia. Chaos erupts when Angela misplaces the engagement ring. Amidst a whirlwind of misunderstandings and coverups, secrets are exposed and hilarity ensues in this comedy of errors that will keep you laughing from start to finish. Rounding out the ensemble is John Flaherty, Alexander DeChino, Becca Ferrante and stand-up comedian Kitty Reynolds. The show will run at the Sacred Heart University Community Theatre from June 21-23. Visit the theatre’s website to purchase tickets.

In addition to the play, the company will host exclusive events at the theatre, including “A Sit Down with The Sopranos” on June 22, featuring an intimate hour-long talkback session with cast members, including Dan Grimaldi (Patsy and Philly Parisi), Matt Servitto (Agent Dwight Harris) and Jason Cerbone (Jackie Aprile, Jr.) and more cast members to be announced in the coming weeks. The proceeds from these events will be donated to Sandy Hook Promise.

“Thanks to the support of TrailBlazing Productions, we will be able to empower even more students to ‘know the signs’ to prevent school shootings, reduce bullying and create more supportive learning environments that help minimize the potential for youth violence and self-harm,” said Nicole Hockley, cofounder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise.

TrailBlazing Productions was launched earlier this year by Weigel, a writer and producer who was part of the launch team of Saltbox TV in 2020, the first-ever streaming service for older adults. The pioneering venture is also co-founded by Dan Murphy ’17, Serena Morin and Henley Solomon ’19.  It is backed by an advisory board of legendary industry actors, writers, producers, directors and talent agents who will lend their support to help further the company’s mission. They include Treva Silverman (Emmy Award-winning writer, The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Randy Graff (TONY Award-winning actress for City of Angels) Perry Zimel (co-owner and partner Oscars, Abram, Zimel & Associates) and Liza Asner the acclaimed filmmaker and daughter of legendary actor, Ed Asner, who will serve on the board as chairman emeritus.

“TrailBlazing Productions brings together my deep love for theater and admiration for classic stars, infusing new stories with their timeless charm. I can't help but feel my father’s presence, his adventurous spirit dancing alongside us, as we honor tradition while pushing the boundaries of innovation in every performance,” said Asner.


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