THE RETURN OF COUNT FANGULA
By Marlene S. Gaylinn
A stroll down Wooster St. in New Haven will take you to a series of Italian restaurants and bakeries that continue to be handed down to family members since the early 1930’s. Among them is a restaurant called “Consiglios” which is serving up the “Spaghetti Musicals” -- a summertime dinner theatre that takes place on weekends under a patio tent.
“The Return of Count Fangula” is a revamp of last year’s presentation by playwright Liz Fuller called, “Garlic the Musical.” It features the return of one of its characters, a vampire called “Count Fangula,” played by a very talented Gary Cavello, who also plays “Johnny Angel” and “Giovanni” in this production. According to our table partners, “Fangula” derives from a dirty Italian saying and like the title, the sexual contents in the show are simply funny innuendos.
The musical is a lighthearted farce that takes place in a mythological garlic farm called GarlicStock, Calabria, Italy. It’s about “Tony Bob,” a would-be hippy (Michael Sayers) who dreams of becoming a musical impresario and holding a festival in town similar to Woodstock. Meantime, his sister “Diane” (Laura Papallo) falls for Giovanni -- an unlikely-looking husband. The couple’s objective is to gain Tony’s and grandma’s approval. There is also a garlic weevil blight to contend with along with knocking some sense into Tony’s head -- with a tied string of them. However, don’t bother keeping track of this silly, loosely held-together plot. It’s simply a means of getting the audience to participate and have fun partying. The storyline waxes and wanes while it weaves in an excuse to impersonate the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sonny and Cher etc. and also provide a little dancing. There is a lot of lip-sync to nostalgic songs like “ I Got You Babe,” “Strangers in the Night,” “Where the Boys Are” and many other favorites. PJ Letersky acts as the audience coordinator and master of ceremonies.
The dinner includes Toasted Garlic Bread, Salad Greens, Penne Vodka (Pasta), Baked Chicken Breast and Tiramisu for dessert. This program offers a fine opportunity to celebrate a special occasion in an informal, friendly atmosphere.
Plays weekends until September