die hinreißende Amerikanische Mafia-Komödie
von Tom Dulack
I first saw this comedy at the Promenade Theatre in New York City, just before I became the Artistic Director of the Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo. BREAKING LEGS had a successful run at the Promenade, and then went out on a long tour. In the early winter of 2001, I produced and directed the play at Studio Arena with a terrific cast. It proved to be the most popular show of the season, and what you will see onstage here in Vienna owes much to that production.
BREAKING LEGS is a wonderful evening in the theatre. It not only has a terrific comic idea driving the plot – the financing of an avant garde Off Off Broadway or Fringe play with Mafia money – it also showcases extremely colourful and flamboyant characters, from Mike Francisco and Tino DeFelice to the unfortunate Frankie Salvucci. And then there is the romantic plot involving Terence and Angie, which is propelled by her father. Part of the charm of the play is the satire of commonly accepted conventions and attitudes of Italian Americans that are stood on their head by the plain speaking and unpredictable Lou Graziano who is Angie’s father.
BREAKING LEGS preceded the hit American tv series, The Sopranos by some seven years. Like the celebrated television show, the play successfully mixes violence and threats with satire and slapstick. And it has been a joy to rehearse.
The author, Tom Dulack, is himself a college professor (and playwright). But he is also a serious scholar having recently published an excellent memoir on Shakespeare as well as a play about St. Francis of Assisi.