Storytelling: Chiarelli’s “Boccaccio”, Nov 27 & 28

Charly_Boccaccio.jpgCharly Chiarelli comes back for a special weekend of storytelling at Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne Street. Two shows: Friday November 27 and Saturday November 28 at 8 pm. Tickets $10. Call 905-543-8512.
Charly takes some sexy tales from the famous 14th century storyteller Giovanni Boccaccio, and gives them a Hamilton twist, interspersed with some demon harmonica playing.  Boccaccio’s collection of one hundred allegorical and often bawdy stories, The Decameron, was written in 1350. Charly performed some of these stories at the recent FOOL Festival of Oral Literatures in Toronto, and we asked him to try them on us. He’ll be adding some new ones as well.

Charly Chiarelli and Artword Theatre have had a long association, and we are delighted to continue this in our new place, Artword Artbar.

In March-April, 2009, Artword presented Charly Chiarelli€™s new show Sunamabeach, at The Pearl Company.  The show is an irreverent look at Hamilton through the eyes of Charly Chiarelli, who grew up in the Sicilian North End. Charly comes back and finds that life is a “sunamabeach”.

Sunamabeach is the third  Chiarelli show originated by Artword and directed and dramaturged by Ronald Weihs.

Cu’Fu? (So Who Did It?), is a hilarious and touching one-man show about growing up Sicilian in Hamilton. “Cu’Fu?” – “So who did it?” – is a Sicilian response to bad salami or the origin of the universe – and most everything in between. These tales of Charly’s weird and wonderful family coping with life in a new country, punctuated by his virtuoso blues harmonica, became one of Artword’s most-loved show. The second in the trilogy — Mangiacake! — tells how an immigrant kid tries to shed his Sicilian identity – only to discover that he wants it back again. Charly comes to terms with his Canadian identity, and goes back to Italy to find his roots, only to discover that he too is – a mangiacake! “Mangiacake”, for anyone who hasn’t seen Cu’fu?, means “cake eaters”. It’s what Italians call non-Italians (when they’re being nice).

Charly Chiarelli began his career as a performer playing virtuoso harmonica in blues and jazz bands. He was in at the founding of the storytelling movement in Toronto. Initially, he accompanied storytellers with his harmonica, but soon he was telling stories himself, all about his crazy childhood in Hamilton.

Besides repeat runs at Artword Theatre in Toronto, both Cu’Fu? and Mangiacake! have been filmed for Bravo! Television. And Charly has performed the shows all across Canada in numerous venues.

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