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Compagnia della Rancia - 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers'

by Patrizia Vallone

November 2002 -- Politeama Brancaccio Theater, Rome

Aldo De Lorenzo’s set consists of a rotating wall that swiftly and smoothly turns into a tavern, the Pontipee brothers’ house and the town. Fabrizio Angelini’s choreography is quite good. There are many very difficult acrobatic dances, which are performed with ease. The pieces danced by the girls contain references to classical ballet, which is not surprising, since Angelini started out as a classical dancer, graduating from the Italian National Dance Academy and performing with the Rome Opera Ballet and the Ballet of the San Carlo opera theater in Naples. The ensemble dances are captivating, a pots-and-pans dance is very funny, and so is the brawl between the lumberjack brothers and their rivals.

The actors are all very good - they know how to sing and act, and they dance very well. Manuel Frattini is cute, ironic and touching as Gideon. Valeria Monetti, recently discovered thanks to the t.v. program “Saranno Famosi” (a sort of Big Brother setup which takes place in an art academy, with the young participants attending courses in everything that has to do with show biz), makes her début as Milly, the first of the seven brides. You would take her for a well-experienced artist; she’s very natural, and sings and acts very well.

I would have expected Raffaele Paganini, who performed the role of Adam Pontepee, is a former ballet étoile whom I’ve had occasion to admire in the unfortunately distant past, to dance more and to act in a less affected manner. His singing is nothing to write home about. Let’s just say he’s weak in the lower register. However, his numerous fans (whatever I may or may not say, Paganini is still a popular feature on TV) did not seem to detect anything amiss, and applauded him mightily.

The rest of the company was fine, and deserved its success.

Edited by Staff.

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