Made in Italy

Gather ‘round as Salvatore Mantini, an Italian immigrant from Abruzzo, shares a tale of family, food and music—all while serving a meal, course by course. The comic, heartwarming Made in Italy starts on March 17 at the Arts Club Theatre’s Granville Island Stage.

Made in Italy

Weaving the electrifying disco of the 1970’s with classic Italian tunes, Made in Italy tells the coming-of-age story of Francesco Mantini (Farren Timoteo), a teenager in rural Jasper, Alberta, and son of Salvatore. Tired of living up to his father’s traditional expectations and the bullying from his Canadian peers, Francesco takes inspiration from pop culture icons John Travolta and Rocky Balboa to reinvent himself as Frank Martin.

Equal parts comedy and music, Made in Italy is a story of a father and son finding themselves despite their differences.

Made in Italy

This one-person show was commissioned by Western Canada Theatre, where its premiere in 2016 met with great acclaim and sold-out houses. Successful productions at Citadel Theatre and Thousand Islands Playhouse followed. Made in Italy’s playwright and star, Farren Timoteo, was recognized in Avenue Magazine’s list of Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40 for his artistic contributions to the city.

Since becoming Artistic Director of Alberta Opera in 2006, Timoteo’s award-winning work as a writer and director has been seen by more than 70,000 students every season. Postponed from earlier this year due to COVID-19, Made in Italy will now start at the Arts Club’s Granville Island Stage, following its run at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton, Ontario.

Made in Italy

According to Director Daryl Cloran, “Made in Italy is a very funny story, with a surprising amount of heart. At its core is the relationship between a father and a son, who are pulled between two cultures and two homes and searching for their identity. The background of the 1970’s provides an opportunity for great music and dance and showcases Farren’s fantastic voice and impressive disco moves!”

The Arts Club’s Executive Director Peter Cathie White added, “Filled with great Italian and disco songs that will have everyone singing along, this is a hilarious coming-of-age story about a kid with the heart of Rocky Balboa and the moves—and hair—of John Travolta. Farren truly is mesmerizing to watch—he shares his personal story with such charm and charisma that I know our audiences will love it.”

All performances of Made in Italy will be produced and presented with current safety guidelines established by the B.C. government. Patrons born in 2009 or earlier will be required to present their B.C. Vaccine Card, along with a picture ID, for entrance to Arts Club venues.

Made in Italy

Made in Italy

Dates: March 17 to April 17; Tue. to Thur., 7:30 pm; Fri. & Sat. 8 pm; Wed., 1:30 pm; Sat. & Sun., 2 pm
Venue: Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Tickets: From $35, available online
Sunday Salon: March 27, 2 pm
Tuesday Talkback: April 5, 7:30 pm
VocalEye Performance: Sun, April 10, 2 pm

Photos by Dylan Hewlett.

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