From a bench to Shakespeare… (kinda)…

BY CESARE ZUCCA
My first encounter with the very talented comedians  Ale and Franz, was in front to my TV, watching their funny gig. two men chatting while sitting on a bench) with Ale reading the newspaper and making with the bewildered Franz in the great show called Zelig.
Ale and Franz is an Italian comic duo formed by Alessandro Besentini and Francesco Villa  in addition to Zelig; since then they have taken part in various successful TV shows, as well as acting in films and plays.
Well. forget the bench, Ale and Franz are now on the stage of Teatro Manzoni with the play Born under a contrary star, the painful story of Juliet and her Romeo”, directed by the agile and lively director of Leo Muscato.
It is a variation of  the famous Shakespearean tragedy, directed by a director who can improvise stopgaps for small roles..
The text is a pre-text for improvisation, as happened in the late sixteenth century. At the beginning of the show, the actors themselves, at the front, announce the spirit of the staging: mas-sanctify the text.
Ale is Juliet, in a fluffy white tutu and Franz is the handsome Franz’s Romeo who creates a character in balance between lyricism and irony. On the stage they put into play all their ability to have fun and have fun, but the result is unexpected. The rough Ale is a moving Juliet, as tender and naive as you’d expect from a young girl while the handsome Romeo, Franz is impetuous as expected from his character as a young lover.
The protagonists are no longer the characters of the drama but the actors themselves who, in balance between tragedy and comedy, tell first of all themselves. Each one represents a character: the avant-gardist, the attorone, ( big actor) the promiscuous, and everyone has a story of his own that led him to that stage.
A cast of all men performing even female roles, observing the authentic Elizabethan spirit. Rivals and accomplices at the same time, on the one hand the jokes are stolen, on the other they help each other as much as they can. The Elizabethan script obviously requires a cast of transformist comedians and Muscato brings together a group of very talented actors, including the great with Paolo Graziosi, who actually performed Mercuzio in the play directed by Franco Zeffirelli.Although the text is entirely Shakespearean, with the exception of the short prologue, the risk of these rewritings that wink at the cabaret is that the “character” takes precedence over the text, as is partially the case in this production.I have the feeling that most of the audience. as fans of the comic duo, got pretty disappointed  to see their fav comedians acting like Shakespearean actors  or at least Shakespeare amateurs. The laughs were few and anxiously expected.
I had the feeling that the search for comedy and a strong characterization of the characters prevails over the overall vision, conveying a feeling of fragmentation and sometime getting pretty boring.
Luckily the story of Romeo and Juliet triumphs over everything,
If you want to know more about Ale and Franz

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