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Georgetown Theatre Company Gianni Schicchi

By • Nov 10th, 2010 • Category: Reviews
Gianni Schicchi by John Morogiello
Georgetown Theatre Company
Randolph Road Theatre, Silver Spring, MD
Through November 28th
1:45 with one intermission
$25/$20 Seniors and Students
Reviewed November 5th, 2010

Gianni Schicchi is a farce based on Puccini’s opera of the same name. Beloved Buoso Donati is in his deathbed, yet his family is more concerned with what he has bequeathed to them in his will. When they learn he has left everything to a local monastery, the plotting and scheming begins. The cleverest man in town, a poor farmer, Gianni Schicchi is called to help them figure out how they can keep Donati’s riches.

Gianni Schicchi started out and ended in the Eighth Circle of Dante’s Inferno, which really felt like an indulgence as the entire play was simply a retelling of the story of why Gianni Schicchi will be damned. But at the very close of the show a surprise occurred that made the “indulgence” totally worth it, plus it helped underscore the personality of Gianni Schicchi. The story of Gianni Schicchi took place entirely within the bedchamber of Buoso Donati after Donati’s death. The cast struggled to maintain its energy; at times in the first act it dragged considerably, although the energy was higher and more consistent in the second act as the family members were coming to Gianni Schicchi to convince him to give them everything.

John Morogiello portrayed Gianni Schicchi and was also the playwright. Morogiello played Schicchi as wise and crafty, yet also with compassion as he learned of the plight of the Donati family. He was a con man, yet wasn’t slick, and his love for his daughter Lauretta (Rachel Meloan) showed whenever she was with him.

Donati’s family was greedy and full of problems. Terence Aselford was outstanding as the drunkard elderly Betto. Jim Gagne as the intellectual Gherado was no match for the passion his wife Nella (Suzie Mellring) shared with everyone else it seemed. Scott Courlander as Marco was the jock. Laura Scott was convincing as the frustrated matriarch Zita Bellini.

There were several bits in the show that were quite suggestive, so this is not a good show to take young children to. I also wondered if the body of Buoso Donati could have been played by a real person, but that may have brought up too many similarities to Weekend at Bernie’s. Overall, Gianni Schicchi was a pleasurable show.

Photo Gallery

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Photos provided by Georgetown Theatre Company.

Cast

  • Dante Alighieri: Kenny Littlejohn
  • Virgil: Carl Brandt Long
  • Gianni Schicchi: John Morogiello
  • Rinuccio Donati: TD Smith
  • Gherado Bellini: Jim Gagne
  • Zita Bellini: Laura J. Scott
  • Nella Bellini: Suzie Mellring
  • Betto De Signa: Terence Aselford
  • Marco Donati: Scott Courlander
  • Biago: Jonathan Lee Taylor
  • Lauretta Schicchi: Rachel Meloan
  • Dr. Spinelloccio: Jonathan Lee Taylor
  • Ser Amantio: Jonathan Lee Taylor
  • Cobbler: Carl Brandt Long
  • Dyer: Kenny Littlejohn

Crew

  • Director: Catherine Aselford
  • Assistant Director: Emily Ann Jablonski
  • Costume Design: Elizabeth Kemmerer
  • Sound designer: Terence Aselford
  • Light Designer: Kevin Shortall
  • Fight Director: Carl Brandt Long
  • Stage Manager: Adam Adkins
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Alexis Graves
  • Executive Avatar: J. Thaddeus Burian

Disclaimer: Georgetown Theatre Company provided a complimentary media ticket to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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has performed in local productions, but prefers to be behind the scenes. Mike earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and the Online News Association.

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