by Cesare Zucca

Ivan Cotroneo is an Italian actor, director, producer, writer, born in Naples (Italy).
As a director he has directed One Kiss, Kryptonite and the currently showing Fourteen Days.
As a successful screenwriter, Ivan collaborated for Ozpetek’s big hit Mine Vaganti, on the screenplays of the films of Pappi Corsicato (Chimera, I Vesuviani), Renato De Maria (Paz! and La prima linea), Daniele Luchetti (Dillo con parole mie), Riccardo Milani (Piano, solo), Maria Sole Tognazzi (The man who loves), and beautiful Luca Guadagnino’s Io sono l’amore.

For television he has written, among other things, Un posto Tranquillo directed by Luca Manfredi, Pinocchio, directed by Alberto Sironi, Sissi by Xavier Schwarzenberger and Storia di Laura by Andrea Porporati among other, including writing and directing the 2 succeful series La Compagnia Del Cigno ( The Company of the Swan) filmed at Milan Coservatory Giuseppe Verdi.

Cotroneo and the cast of “Amanti”

Subsequently, she made herself known to the general public with the brilliant series Una mamma imperfetta, which recounts the daily life of four mothers today grappling with family, work, home and children at the same time.
He will return to film direction first with Il Natale della mamma imperfetta (2013) and then with A kiss (2016), which has three teenagers in search of happiness as protagonists.
After writing and directing The Company of the Swan, he returns to the cinema in 2021 with the film 14 Giorni (Fourteen Days), starring Thomas Trabacchi and Carlotta Natoli in the role of a couple in forced cohabitation.

Ivan Cotroneo

What a talent!
I would call Ivan a “cantastorie”  with a  great talent in telling stories, using various languages: books, cinema, television, songs, translations and now also theatre  with the hilarious play Amanti ( Lovers) that I wrote and directed.
The play is a brilliant and funny comedy, with situations and dialogues that make you laugh, but also an exploration of the feelings of a couple who find refuge, comfort, amusement, but also worry, concern, and perhaps danger in the state of state of being clandestine.

The Cast of Amanti and Writer Director Ivan Cotroneo

Amanti follows the story of Giulio and Claudia’s relationship, interspersing their meetings in the hotel with the dialogues that each of the two has with Dr. Cioffi, who obviously does not know that her two problematic patients are having an affair.

Thus their story unfolds between encounters in bed and the truths or lies that they simultaneously tell the doctor, to whom they go alone or together with their respective partners, Laura and Roberto. Everything seems to go according to plan, but in the end something turns everything upside down….

The story is that of a betrayal, so up to here nothing unexpected, but the story intrigues from the beginning, from their first meeting down at the psychotherapist of both, to their secret meetings in a hotel room, from an adventure transition into a real relationship with a very unexpected epilogue…

A succession of misunderstandings, missteps, lies, a cliché text of extramarital affairs, a comedy about love, sex, betrayal and marriage, about adventures, relationships, the male and female universe and, ultimately, the ultimate pursuit of happiness , who always decides to take unexpected unexpected paths
Excellent cast, Fabrizia Secchi, Orsetta De Rossi Eleonora Russo  Diego d’Elia and an irresistable and flamboyant Massimiliano Gallo.

Fabrizia Secchi and Massimiliano Gallo

Mr. Cotroneo adds popular italian songs, music and greatly introduces cast and crew credits on a big screen that make us feeling like going to see a movie, a great one!

At Manzoni Theatre, Milan
Till Feb 26 , 2023
To buy tickets click here


Tango originated in Argentina in the late 1800s, invented by the creativity of the first immigrants, especially Italian and French, who sought an escape from hard daily life, to take refuge in music and dance. A new music, almost a fusion of European, American and black rhythms and sounds, but above all a new, bold and transgressive dance.
!t was danced in public housing, in the barrios of the suburbs, in cabarets called perigundines and in the infamous dance halls of San Telmo and Boca, where all the scandalous rules of the new dance were allowed: the sensuality of the embrace, the provocative intertwining of the legs and the bold words of the songs that told the sad reality of survival and the nostalgia for the distance from their land, but they exalted loyalty and brotherhood in adversity. Thus was born the tango, expression of body and mind for a free and intuitive choreography, destined to become part of the identity and culture of the Argentine people.
Tango Fatal is an international tango company directed by Guillermo Berzins, a world-famous Argentine dancer and choreographer, who will involve us in the show Tango y Amor, together with his sensual dancer with great technical and interpretative ability of Marijana Tanasković.
The show, with a strong emotional impact, makes the sensual and mysterious atmospheres of Buenos Aires revive and live on stage, managing to maintain an abstract and suspended in time setting, always current and modern, where dance, the main and fundamental element, is blends harmoniously with the music played by excellent musicians directed by the concertmaster Oksana Peceny Dolenc. Interpreting the romantic and dramatic notes of the most famous tangos and combining the rhythms of different tango periods, the show Tango y Amor is a promise of irresistible seduction!
There will be a dance between men who challenge each other with a knife, the partner as a key character of the tango, the ancient way of dancing of the canyengue tango, without forgetting the contagious energy of Argentine folklore and its gauchos with bombos and boleadoras, up to get to the golden age and finally reach spectacular contemporary choreography crowned by the music of Astor Piazzolla.
On Febryary 17, 2020 at 8.45 pm
Teatro Manzoni, Milan
Via Alessandro Manzoni, 42


From a bench to Shakespeare… (kinda)…

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