The scene is Little Italy, and the time is 1988. Italian American Reconciliation is a comedic telling of what love can do to people. Aldo Scalicki, played by Matt Hudacs, is a mamma’s boy who is terrified of women. The play opens with him informing the audience how horrible love and women are.
Aldo yells at a “member” of the audience, Devyn Heinbaugh, for following him around all over the place. He escorts her from the room only to have her storm back in for more. After placating her with promises of meeting up later, she leaves and Aldo continues his narration, using her as the perfect example of why women are crazy.
“I liked my character. What more can I say. I liked him and the audience liked him. End of story,” said Hudacs.
Italian American Reconciliation is about Aldo trying to keep his best friend, Huey Bonfigliano, played by Ralph DeStefano, from going back to his horrible ex-wife, Janice.
“My character, Huey, transforms through the show as a man on the edge of completely breaking down and committing suicide to being carefree simply because of love,” said DeStefano.
“I used memories and feelings from old break ups to help show how I might feel in the same situation and found it was very different from what Huey did. But anyway, I am extremely happy I had the chance to be in a full scale production for University Theater and hope to do it again,” added Destefano.
Janice, played by Linda Rae Krov, divorced Huey three years ago. She had made his life a living hell, refusing to cook anything fit for a dog, actually shooting and killing his dog and trying to shoot him.
After years of abuse, Huey finally gave her what she wanted, a divorce. However, three years later he is still pining for her, even though he has a good life and is dating a nice girl named Teresa, played by Leann Hart.
“I loved my character, Teresa. When I first read through the play I thought, hey, I’m only in one scene this should be a piece of cake. However, there was much more to Teresa than I thought,” said Hart.
“She is a very kind person, but she is also very strong and is not going to take any crap from Huey. During my scene it was difficult working through the emotions and trying to figure out the ups and downs, like where she would break down and where she would stick up for herself, being angry at Huey, being pissed at Aldo as soon as he walks in the door and so forth.”
Throughout the play, Teresa is pining for Huey, Huey is pining for Janice; it almost appears that Janice is pining for Aldo, and Aldo is just pining for a woman who is not going to try to kill him.
The only vaguely sane character in Italian American Reconciliation is Aunt May, played by Chelsea Senic. She appears to have the best advice for the younger characters in the play, while attesting to knowing nothing.
Eventually Huey gets things worked out with Janice and though he does not actually end up with her, he finds that he does get his life back. Italian American Reconciliation is set in three scenes. We see Huey’s apartment, Pop’s Soup House and the rear of Janice’s house.
All the actors in the play did very well and were able to both be funny while portraying the more sad, insane aspects of love. The time and effort put into the play was obvious and the audience was not left disappointed. Italian American Reconciliation was written by John Patrick Shanley and was directed by Millersville University’s Tony Elliot.
“We were really lucky to have such a great cast and crew. I really enjoyed working with everyone, and it would not be what it was without everyone’s hard work,” said Senic.