La Cantata dei Pastori
Go back in time for a family Southern Italian Christmas when I Giullari di Piazza (The Jesters of the Square) enact Andrea Perrucci’s 17th century play “La Cantata dei Pastori.” A large cast of musicians, singers, actors, and specialty performers—stiltwalker, commedia dell’arte characters, sword fighters and more—perform the musical version by John La Barbera, adapted and directed by Alessandra Belloni, internationally renowned singer/percussionist who appears as Mary. The story follows the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, which finds them facing both dramatic and hilarious situations. Sword-fighting expert James Karcher as the Devil tries to stop the birth of Jesus, and does battle with the Archangel Gabriel (played in traditional fashion by stiltwalker Mark Mindek). In the forest, the couple meets the commedia dell’arte character Razzullo, always looking for something to eat (played by Naples native and commedia expert Giuseppe de Falco). The play is performed in Italian with English narration by Max McGuire as La Befana, the Christmas witch who gives sweets to the good children and lumps of coal to those who have been bad. The play ends after the birth of Jesus and a full company rendering of the oldest recorded Neapolitan Christmas carol, accompanied in traditional fashion on bagpipe by special guest Giovannagelo de Gennaro from Apulia, Italy.
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
155 First Avenue, New York NYBuy tickets/get more info now