Theater for the New City
LA CANTATA DEI PASTORI (the Shepherds Cantata)
Dec 22 2017 8:00PM
Praise by Alex Ross of the New York Times:  "A musical play presented by the traditional Italian group I Giullari di Piazza (is) a rarity among Christmas programs; it somehow manages to be both riotously entertaining and curiously haunting, even profound......a vibrant and uproarious performance."
FEATURING: La Befana (the Italian Christmas Witch), the Archangel Gabriel, and Pulcinella from the Italian Commedia dell’Arte!
Based on a Renaissance play by Andrea Perrucci. This musical version has been adapted and directed by Alessandra Belloni and enacted by masked commedia dell'arte characters, puppets, devils, and the Archangel Gabriel on stilts! Narrated in English by La Befana - Good Witch of Christmas. 

Jon Pareles, New York Times:

"The adaptation, by the troupe's director, Alessandra Belloni, is geared for action rather than quiet piety; in a climactic battle, Miss Belloni as Maria beat a large drum and sang out while the Angel Gabriel took on the dragon. Giuseppe de Falco as Razzullo (and Vincenzo Corrao as the birdlike Sarchiapone) shared slapstick duties.The music, directed by John La Barbera, is folkish, aiming for vitality above precision and often achieving both."

"LA CANTATA DEI PASTORI" also features:
THE NEAPOLITAN SINGER /ACTOR GIUSEPPE DE FALCO IN THE ROLE OF RAZZULLO or Pulcinella, the character that leads the story,
ALESSANDRA BELLONI in the role of Mary defeating  the Devil with her powerful drum! 
JOHN LA BARBERA- MUSIC DIRECTOR, renaissance guitar, classical guitar, mandolin ,mandoloncello
MARK MINDEK, dancer on stilts as the Angel Gabriel 
 JOEL BRIEL as LA BEFANA, the Italian Christmas Witch
MARA GERETY, violin, in the role of the Devil
SUSAN EBERENZ, MUSIC DIRECTOR, Flutes, piccolo, recorders
WILSON MONTUORI, guitar
CHRISTA PATTON: South Italian Bagpipe, oboe, recorders
SERENA DAVINI, percussion and drum set
JAMES KARCHER, lead devil and sword fighter 
FRANCESCA SILVANO dancer - Devil, Shepherdess, Moon & Sun
LUCA FOCELLA, little shepherd and junior devil


Join La Befana, the Good Witch of Christmas, Mary and Joseph, the Archangel Gabriel, Devils, Demons, and the commedia dell'arte characters who enact this beloved story of the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, and the triumph of good over evil. 
The music - tarantellas, villanellas and pastorales - comes from traditional sources, with original music by John La Barbera music director. Adaptation, choreography and direction are by Alessandra Belloni.
Songs are sung in Italian and old Neapolitan dialect; costuming and music instrumentation is traditional Southern Italian; narration is in English. The play ends with a singing by the whole Company of the oldest known Neapolitan Christmas song.

The play is set during Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, during which the Devil has dispatched demons to stop the birth of Jesus. Along the way, the holy couple's escapades are entwined with the hapless commedia dell'arte character called Razzullo, a comic mischievous Neapolitan scribe who is always hungry and looking for something to eat. The demons, in the meanwhile, conjure up tempests, dragons, and do all they can to stop the birth, but all are under the protection of the Archangel Gabriel (played here, in traditional style, by Mark Mindek, well known stilt dancer who has appeared in Metropolitan Opera productions, Disney Films and special events around the world.). The holy couple experiences funny, outrageous, and dangerous adventures before they finally reach Bethlehem and Good triumphs over Evil! 

The show is a classic of the Italian Renaissance theatrical tradition of Commedia dell'Arte, rich in "lazzi" or improvised comedic scenes, punchlines, physical comedy and wordplay. I Giullari di Piazza have mastered the traditional Commedia style based on improvisation, rapid-fire jokes and often grotesque humor, outrageous props, vivid costumes and masks, and evocative music and sound effects. 
La Cantata dei Pastori  Pulcinella / Razzullo





La Cantata dei Pastori Pulcinella / Razzullo by Alessandra Belloni. Performed Live on December 12, 2016, Theater For The New ... (continued)
Categories: Classical,New Works,Play
Event web page
Running time:    
Intermission(s): No
Price: $25.00
Seating: General Admission    
Capacity: 90