“The Italian in Me,” written and performed by Dina Morrone.
Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd W, Los Angeles, November 10 & 11
I have a confession to make. I have seen this show before. A year ago Dina Morrone performed this brilliant and hilarious show at Theatre West and I was lucky enough to attend.
This year, to another packed house, she revisits her Italian roots and takes us through her struggles as an actress with a dream to live and work in Italy.
“The Italian in Me” follows its author from Canada to Rome as she searches for her place as an Italian Canadian actress. He grandmother or “nonna” disapproves at first of her dream to entertain, but once she realizes how determined Dina is, she relents and even becomes her biggest fan as she dives head first into the Rome movie world.
Dina Morone is a brilliantly talented comedic actress. Fearless and relentless, she recreates every crazy Italian character on her journey. From various very dodgy agents, producers and actors to priests, doormen and even her lovingly portrayed “nonnao,” she fills each of them with life and sprinkles them with her very unique mixture of mimicry and reverence. It’s quite a spectacle and absolutely hilarious in its honesty and its truth.
Her story is impeccably told and her life fascinating and inspiring. She’s a force of nature to be sure and holds the audience captive as she pretzels her way from one strange encounter to the next. She does eventually find work in Italy, after much praying to various saints and much furious fending off of many admirers. It all leads her to Fellini’s door and it is the master himself who gives her the best advice of all…”be yourself.”
Well, Dina Morrone is nothing if not authentic and has a way of being herself inside every one of her wonderful characters. Solo shows are tough. I’ve seen too many to count but I have to say that this is one of the very best. Beautifully performed, expertly put together, with just the right amount of humor, truth and integrity, “The Italian in Me” is s testament to the hard work, determination and the sheer nerve it takes to be a performer. Dina Marrone is performer personified….Bravo!!!