Italian Mom Loves You – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Can you keep a secret? Today is Nana’s 85th birthday and her loving daughter Antoinette is planning an Italian feast as a surprise. You are invited to join the family and friends and you don’t have to bring anything, but a box of Stella Door S shaped cookies or a bottle of red wine would be nice. Until Sunday, August 21, the festive table groaning with ziti and sausage and peppers will be set for you at Seven Angels Theatre and don’t forget to come. Antoinette invited you personally and she promises it will be PHENOMENAL.

“ITALIAN MOM LOVES YOU” is a world premiere written by the star of the show Daniel Franzese and Jacques Lamarre. Lamarre is still recovering from another world premiere a week ago, “Secondo,” at Theater Works Hartford so he is clearly on a comedic roll. Franzese plays Antoinette, a loud and commanding woman who is juggling a lot of meatballs in her world. Not only is she single handedly planning Nana’s celebration, she is cleaning up after the family pooch Rocky, preparing for her daughter Rosalie to graduate high school and set off for Emory University, her son Anthony is about to be married, her ex-husband Nicky is carrying on with a new woman, her neighbor just might be burying her husband in her flower garden, and she is anxiously waiting to see if her offer for a condo in Boca Raton has been accected.

No wonder she is busy yelling, and coaxing, and managing, and inviting everyone she talks to on the phone to join today’s party. She complains and kisses in the same breathe as she commands son Anthony to go to Caputo’s Deli for vital party stables, loudly encourages daughter Rosalie to pick up the guests who need transportation, threatens ex-husband Nicky to come without his newest girlfriend, and watches her neighbor act suspiciously out her kitchen window. How will things work out for Antoinette as she juggles so many balls of mozzarella? And don’t forget the alligators who may live next door to her in Boca Raton! No wonder she prays to the Virgin Mary.

For tickets ($39-49), call Seven Angels Theatre, 1 Plank Road, Hamilton Park, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online at SevenAngels Performances areTuesday to Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. on August 20. Check online for any COVID requirements.

Set your musical dials for a return, after a five year absence, of the spectacular Billy McGuigan and his 6 piece band for two shows only Friday and Saturday, August 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. “Yesterday and Today” led by brothers Billy, Matthew and Ryan is an interactive Beatles Experience where the audience dictates the songs that are played and their comments become the anecdotes for the show. Tickets are $45.

Come meet the family cheerleader Antoinette as she shakes her pom poms and creates a sturdy party pyramid of love.