Entering a world familiar to fans of his screenplay for "Moonstruck," we meet best friends Aldo and Huey. When Huey decides he wants to break off his relationship with a wonderful girl to go back to his ex-wife, Aldo gets comically involved. A dog, a gun and a music box figure in.
"In typical Shanley style, poetic images pour from the mouths of the common man," Marco Zaccagnini, Epicenter managing director, says. "The five characters contort themselves in every shape and many directions to achieve love, or at least a bowl of minestrone. People will recognize themselves and laugh at themselves in this little comic masterpiece." "The production will make you feel like you are actually sitting in New York's Little Italy without having to pay for an airline ticket," says Tonino Zaccagnini, Epicenter Theatre Group's vice president. This charming play set in New York's Little Italy features company members Marco Zaccagnini (Aldo) and Erin Edgerton (Janice). Making their Epicenter debut are Elizabeth DeWulf (Aunt May), Lauren Knox (Teresa) and Michael Lopetrone (Huey). The production is guest directed by Karen Sheridan with Paul Jagoda (scenic designer), Christa Koerner (costume designer) and Kerro Knox 3 (lighting designer). The evening is framed by music that will make any true Italian cry.
The enthusiasm, motivation and determination behind the creation of Epicenter Theatre Group stems from 33-year-old Michigan manufacturing entrepreneur, Marco Zaccagnini. Zaccagnini graduated from Oakland University's prestigious Department of Music, Theatre and Dance in 2006. Not unlike many Michigan residents, he made the most of his job opportunities and joined the family business to work alongside his brother, Tonino Zaccagnini, with his successful floor coatings company, EpoxyMaster. After a five year hiatus from theatre and working through one challenge after another in his personal and professional life, the dream of acting resurfaced and the motivation to capitalize on the dream of creating a theatre company reemerged. Zaccagnini approached Bill Premin, now vice president and artistic director of Epicenter Theatre Group, and asked if this dream of beginning such a theatre group could translate into reality. Premin instantly shared his enthusiasm about the theatre group and Zaccagnini began researching and connecting with old contacts that would soon prove to be key to the success of Epicenter Theatre Group's creation.
Zaccagnini meticulously put together a board of eight like-minded, ultra talented individuals that share the vision of creating a theatre group that provides Michigan's top theatrical talent from all walks of life. The diverse group brings multiple perspectives and experiences to live theatre and they hope to tap into and provide opportunities for Michigan's underground theatre community. The members of Epicenter Theatre Group have joined forces to not only produce unequaled professional quality theatre, but to share proceeds from the group's endeavors to Oakland University's various programs of the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance. Zaccagnini looks forward to the success of Epicenter Theatre Group and in return hopes to inspire current and future students of Oakland University to pursue an education and/or career in the performing arts. He also anticipates providing opportunities within his theatre group for students currently involved in the performing arts program at OU. The diverse and exceptionally talented Epicenter Theatre Group is living up to its potential and hype by having showcased a variety of plays such as Glengarry Glen Ross, The Man Who Lost His Sundays and Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Theatre goers can also look forward to staged readings, improvisation, sketch comedy, various theatre workshops, festivals of plays, children's and reader's theatre. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students.
Tickets and additional information are available online at the website epicentertheatregroup.org or at the theatre the day of the show. You may also make a tax-deductable donation at epicentertheatregroup.org. You can also find Epicenter Theatre Group on Facebook and Twitter.