Q&A: JULIE FROM STATEN ISLAND Chats with BWW; Next Show July 25

Q&A: JULIE FROM STATEN ISLAND Chats with BWW; Next Show July 25

Comedy Writer/Performer Julio Vincent Gambuto's "Julie from Staten Island" is now at Theatre Row the 25th of Every Month, Directed by standup veteran Linda Smith. "Julie from Staten Island" is an 80-minute one-man comedy that follows performer Julio Vincent Gambuto from the fifth and oft-forgotten borough of Staten Island to the ivy-covered gates of Harvard Yard to the streets of South Brooklyn. The next show is on Saturday, July 25th. Click here for tickets and more information. 

Tell us about Julie from Staten Island, what can audiences expect?

"Julie from Staten Island" is part standup, part monologue, like John Leguizamo's "Freak," but with fake tans and waxed eyebrows. It's about growing up on Staten Island, about life at Harvard, about coming out at 19 years old. It's an 80-minute tour of the fifth borough (without having to actually take the ferry like Melanie Griffith in "Working Girl") and a look back at my childhood in the 80s and 90s -- you know, the good ol' days of Zima and Zelda and Z. Cavaricci pants. Ultimately, it's a story about trying to stay true to yourself and your roots at the same time. I'm grateful that audiences have been loving it and really having fun.

What does your family think of the show?

At first, my mother was a little numb hearing about my 16-year-old run to the supermarket for Trojans, but she's been a great sport about it. My dad has only seen the show once. I was at his house a few weeks later. He said to me, "You notice that I don't speak in front-a you no more?" I said, "Why not?" "Cause everything I say's gonna wind up on some stage somewhere in the city." I guess he's right.

How has doing the show here been different from doing it at ACME and in other places?

The ACME audiences in Los Angeles never believe my mother's name is really Maria Immaculata Theresa Perrone Gambuto DeNicolo. Other than that, it's been great to do it in and out of New York. Turns out people on both coasts love a good joke about how my dad used to drive drunk Staten Island teens to Junior Prom for extra cash.

How is Harvard most similar to and most different from Staten Island?

Harvard is wonderful, but it's a completely different world. I think I was the only kid who didn't own a tuxedo! Where I'm from, we rent tuxedoes from "Men's Wearhouse" for $50 with a $20-off coupon. They should build the tuxedo purchase into your financial aid package. As for similarities? They're hard to come by.

Who are some of the characters that you play in the show?

I play my mother, father, sisters, grandparents, a bunch of Harvard characters, the Freshman Dean, my gay boss from when I worked at People en Espanol Magazine, a California chick who destroyed my car after college...I think there are over 25 in all. My favorite to play is my dad, though. We have such different energies. It's fun to step inside of his body for a moment and see the world through his eyes. And I get to curse like a truck driver (or a bus driver, in his case).

What's it like 'exposing' your life on stage?

Why, isn't everyone telling stories on stage about losing their virginity before they got their braces off? Really there's something freeing about it...and validating. To hear the audience laugh reassures me that I wasn't the only boy to get a perm in junior high school. (Or maybe I was.) Thankfully the stage lights are bright and I can only see the first two rows.

Are there things that you've left out?

Definitely. I'm actually working on the follow-up to "Julie from Staten Island," which will be about my parents' divorce...which was equal parts tragedy and pure comedy. Ask anyone -- my friends, my sisters, the NYPD.

What are your future hopes for the show?

It's been running monthly here in New York since April '08, and the response has been exciting. I'm taking it to Staten Island this fall, and I'd love to launch a commercial tour. Or do it on a Rosie cruise ship. Seriously! Rosie, if you're reading, let's talk.

We hear that you're also a huge musical theatre fan - what are some of your favorites?

Where to begin?! Right now, "Hair" is tops for me. I left the theatre in tears. I liked the revival of "West Side Story." And loved "Billy Elliott." I think those boys are just incredible. Did you see them at the Tonys? I've never been so jealous of a teenager.

Any musical aspirations?

Does karaoke count?

General Audience Ticketing:
Internet: Ticket Central at
By Phone: Call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200
In Person: Theatre Row Box Office at 410 West 42nd Street

JULIO VINCENT GAMBUTO (Writer/Performer) has appeared in "The Nappy Fro Show" at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, California, "The Colin Kane Event" at Caroline's, New York, and has performed stand-up comedy at The Improv and Room 5 in Los Angeles, and at Caroline's, Comix, and The Duplex, and The Village Lantern in New York. Gambuto has appeared in the first incarnation of Theatre Askew's "Bald Diva!," as well as the downtown theatre company's production of "The Tempest," as Ariel, and "I, Claudius Live!" Other credits include: "American Triptych"(HOMOgenius Festival), "So Long Laura Paris," "I Google Myself" (a new play by "Trick" scribe Jason Schafer), "Don Juan Does New Jersey," "Conservatives in Love," and "Volcania: The Wedding" (Philadelphia Fringe). Julio is a graduate of Harvard University. For more information, visit www.juliovincent.com.


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