Cu'Fu? (So who did
Stories from a Sicilian
ARTWORD BRINGS BACK HIT SHOW
After a sell-out run in April, and a very warm response from the Sicilian and Italian communities in Toronto, Artword Theatre remounted the show in the fall for an extended run beginning September 20,1996.
ARTWORD'S SICILIAN SHOW EXTENDS RUN
Artword Theatre's production of Cu'Fu?, by Calogero
(Charly) Chiarelli, was held over until December 15, 1996. The
one-person show about growing up Sicilian in Hamilton, Ontario has
developed a strong grass-roots following that has been filling the
tiny 60-seat theatre since September.
The show, performed in English with some Sicilian dialogue, has a very strong appeal to first and second generation immigrants to Canada, particularly of Italian and Sicilian background.
"People are coming three and four times, bringing a bigger group each time." says Judith Sandiford, managing director of the theatre.
On Saturday, November 9, a special one-night performance of Cu'Fu? is opening the Ontario Workers Arts and Heritage Centre in Hamilton, a few blocks from where the play is set.
The author and performer, Calogero (Charly) Chiarelli, grew up in the industrial north end of Hamilton where, in the words of the show, "there are 10,000 Sicilians all from the same town of Racalmuto. And back in Racalmuto, there were only 8,000 left."
Charly now lives in Kingston, where he works as a social worker. He commutes every weekend to Toronto to do the show. Charly is an expert blues and jazz harmonica player. His blues songs with Sicilian and English lyrics are a high point of the show.
Artword Theatre, now in its fourth season, is putting its full energy behind the show. "We want to take Cu'Fu?' as far as it will go," says Artistic Director Ronald Weihs. "Charly is a very talented writer and performer. And we think that Cu'Fu? has something very important to say about what it is to be Canadian. Right now, that's the most critical issue we face in this country."
Calogero (Charly) Chiarelli is an accomplished performer,
storyteller and musician who has had several appearances on CBC's
'Cloud Nine' and the Toronto Festival of Storytelling. He has
recently appeared at the Yukon International Storytelling Festival
and as Dan Yashinsky's sidekick at the Festival Interculturel du
Conte de Montréal. Charly is also quite adept at the lost art
of setting up pins in a bowling alley, but that's another story.
Now, with credentials in psychology, linguistics and a Master in Social Work, Charly lives and works in Kingston, Ontario. Recently he and his family went to Italy for a year where he gigged as a jazz/blues harmonica player. Charly claims audiences are probably still scratching their heads at his rendition of blues tunes sung with Sicilian lyrics.