Dinner with the Boys is a meal to die for!

As soon as I walked into the Acorn Theater and saw Jessica Parks’ set, with all its fabulous detail clearly marking the location as “New Jersey Italian,” with an appropriate print of DaVinci’s Last Supper, with the theater filled with an assortment of Italian songs, I knew I was in for a treat.

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Charlie (Dan Lauria) and Dom (Richard Zavaglia), an odd couple of Mob boys laying low after refusing to hit their best friend, reminisce their greatest moments from serving the Family. Dom reveals his special dinner recipe to both the surprise of the audience, as Charlie tells about his prowess while ‘in service.’ We soon learn of the one person they fear, the hot-headed Big Anthony, Jr (Ray Abruzzo), who makes the grand entrance and gives new meaning to a ‘Family Dinner’.

The actors give a high-energy well-timed performance making the most of the author’s witty dialogue while physically inhabiting every inch of their characters.

I spoke with the cast after the show – both on the set then later across the street at the West Bank Café. All three are down to earth consummate professionals. I appreciated them taking time to chat after such an exhausting performance, with two shows the next day.

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(Above: Standing L-r.) Richard Zavaglia, Joe Cirillo, Dan Lauria.)
(Seated L.-r.) Ray Abruzzo and me.)

Dan Lauria, the playwright, told me that years ago he was among his friendsDom DeLuise, Peter Falk, Charles Durning and Jack Klugman discussing how they were unhappy with the amount of violence in entertainment. At Dom’s encouragement Dan approached it as a comedy, and his friends would gather to read the work as it developed. Dan, Ray and Richard dedicate every performance to their friends, who gave the pay its first reading at the Coronet Theater in Los Angeles. Sadly, Dom, Peter, Charles and Jack never lived to see the plays potential.

Earlier this year Dinner with the Boys opened at the New Jersey Repertory Company on Long Branch, NJ. To say it was well received by the audience would be an understatement. Most nights are sold-out and people paid to watch the play on TV’s in the theater lobby! The great reviews got the attention of producer Pat Flicker Addiss and Olympus Theatricals, who brought the show to NYC’s Off Broadway house, the Acorn Theater. The play runs to June 28th. Take the time to smell the zucchini and have dinner with the boys before it closes.

#afterdinnerwiththeboys #dinnerwiththeboys #anactorslife

News – 3-2-15

 2014 began with a bad start. A sinus infection that began at Christmas was getting worse. I was banged-up in a bus incident, narrowly escaping serious injury thanks to the skill of our bus driver, who swerved to avoid a road-rage induced accident. A week after that my business partner’s house caught fire. Fortunately no one was injured, but he spent the next six months in a hotel. A week after the fire, that sinus infection hit a facial nerve, causing paralysis known as Bell’s palsy. It was so bad, even my vocal ability was limited – and I suffered with debilitating headaches. I became very sensitive to the cold and most of the winter home, in the dark. Then my computer suffered a big breakdown that took two weeks to repair.

The first half of the year totally gone. Gratefully, the year began to improve from there. Not much work though. During my mother’s last year I had spent a great deal of time caring for her, and in my absence there big changes in my contacts in entertainment. So, it was again time to start all over. I did manager to finally sell of that little condo in Florida that was draining me monthly, recovering barely what it costs to maintain during the time it was up for sale.

Come the end of the year, I treated myself to an amazing vacation of 22 days in Austria – Christmas and New Year’s in Vienna and Salzburg, staying with my cousins who live there. A much needed departure.

Now that 2015 is well on it’s way, I’m back to work. Redesigning my acting web site, my film and film company web sites. A few auditions have come my way, as did several play readings. Not I’m back on the hunt for auditions, work, and investors for my film. I’m also back to my research and writing of a biography on the Viennese sculptor, Josef Josephu, my grandfather. Wish me well!

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My work as the Shepherd of The Lambs has been fruitful, but much more extensive than anticipated. The hardest part is re-engaging the membership to be more involved. But the work…oh, the work. First I found that taxes were not in order and our non-profit statues was revoked. That took sometime, but the team of myself, our new Treasurer and new Account finally got everything up-to-date and the status was restored. We also changed items in the budget and spending of both the club and its foundation and not stand on solid grounds.

We then began to add much needed activity. Up to now our activity was focused on Friday event cabaret nights. We have added events almost every Monday, to include readings of plays, authors talks and book signings, recitals and more. We are no engaging in a physical upgrade of some of our facilites, and we have completely redesigned our website. The new sit not olny looks great, and works on all forms, but it demonstrates our impressive history. And ongoing project is not to add biographies to the more than 6,660 members from the last 141 years. A monumental task, but several members have joined the effort and are doing great work. Visit the site.