I saw this play [Fresco] on Thursday and it is among the top five in my lifetime! It was funny, poignant, informative and incredibly well enacted by a cast of 4 playing about 10 parts. Three of the men play the Italians nonnas and are one of the highlights of the performance. The stage is cleverly changed by the actors as they move between the present and the late 30s early 40s in the Stratcona district and to the internment camp in Ontario. There is even a multimedia component which meshes seamlessly with the performance and adds dimension to the action. If you never see another play in your life, see this one!
- Elizabeth (by email)
I hope that many people take a moment to enjoy this lovely show. This whole industry is based on one thing: storytelling, and this show does a great job of doing just that.
- Kirk (via Facebook)
I saw Fresco in Burnaby - Shabolt Centre today. I was mesmerized and laughed and cried. My father and his family lived on Hawks Ave - yes close to Union Street during this time. My grandfather had to report to the RCMP. My father who was born in Vancouver worked on the waterfront and was removed from his job and not allowed to work there - because he was an Italian. I've heard bits and pieces of these stories since I was a child and you brought it to life and all together for me. Thank you so much for this authentic, educational and truly living and loving performance. I understand so much more of my beautiful background. Anyone with an Italian heritage, in particular for all of us raised in East Vancouver, go and see Fresco and be proud of our heritage.
- Louise (via Facebook)
What a wonderful production. We really enjoyed it. Really hope you will be able to take this production on the road. A valuable story that should be told.
- Carla (via Facebook)
My family/friends and I (eleven of us!) were at the Shadbolt Centre yesterday for your production of FRESCO. I must say, we were all mesmerized by the well-written, poignant/hilarious play and your outstanding and professional acting. I am very proud to be Italian! Great job, everyone! I hope you'll be able to perform this play all across Canada, especially in Toronto and Montreal where I know there are large Italian communities. All the best as you continue to pursue your brilliant futures!
- Elsa (via Email)
PAST BELLALUNA PRODUCTIONS:
Futuristi - Globe and Mail-M Harris,
Georgia Straight-C Thomas,
Marco Polo (Italian)
Best Italian Variety Show - EVER! - Marco Polo News (Italian),
Off Centre Magazine (English)
Roving Characters, Whistler - Marco Polo News (Italian)
Plum + Other Colours - TV Week Top 10 (English)
Vancouver International Comedy
Festival was thrilled with the spontaneous, quick witted street
performances of BellaLuna. The audience, and indeed the merchants on
Granville Island, really enjoyed the humour and skills of these
Artistic Director, Vancouver International Comedy Festival
||“Thank you so much for a heart warming and wonderful, thoroughly enjoyable performance. The audience thought you were a blast! You made all kinds of connections with the Italian traditions and very representative of the way we are! I could not stop laughing. My wife, who is Canadian (no Italian background) could not stop laughing. I talked with many of the others, older and newer Italian Canadians and they said that they did not have such a good time for a very long time. Humour is wonderful thing, it's healing, it's educational and most of all it's entertaining. Mille grazie per tutto!"
- Tony Fantillo, President of the Campbell River Italian Cultural Society
||“The Best Italian Variety Show - Ever! offers a unique opportunity to experience Italian culture through the eyes of a young, energetic, first generation Canadian Theatre Company. Using mask, movement, text and music, TBIVSE comedically explores themes of immigration, stereotype, loneliness, and [...] weaves a very funny and fast-paced show that moved the audience to laughter and tears.
The company is highly skilled in theatre techniques including mask, mime, dance and movement. This show would play very well in communities throughout BC with an edited (for time) version being very suitable for schools. I have worked with BellaLuna twice now and would not hesitate to do so again.”
- Ian Forsyth,
Arts Services Mgr ñ Shadbolt Centre For the Arts
professionale e sicura la
presentatrice Susan Bertoia e ben riuscita l’animazione della serata
fatta dai gruppi Public Dreams, Mortal Coil e BellaLuna Production, che
ad un certo punto...tre spiritose vecchiette che ingaggiavano battute
con il pubblico.”
host Susan Bertoia was very professional and engaging. The evening,
which included Public Dreams, Mortal Coil and BellaLuna Productions,
was a success as three spunky old ladies captivated the audience.”)
L’Eco D’Italia (Italian Language Newspaper)
||“Susan is an energetic, highly skilled, exceptionally well
trained, disciplined actor. Her enthusiasm is infectious and students
respond enthusiastically to her... It was fascinating to watch as the
group transformed into stock characters under Susan¹s enthusiastic
guidance... a highlight workshop not to be missed…”
Beaven, Drama Instructor at Summerland Secondary and Artistic Director
of The Good Will Shakespeare Festival
workshop our High School students were inspired to create their own
commedia show... thanks!”
- Mary Sloan,
Drama Instructor and Actor at the Whitehorse School of Performing Arts,
still refers to your visit. Bringing theatre history alive in the
manner which you did is totally dynamic, just like you.”
McFarlane, Theatre Instructor at Yukon College
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