Runaway Spoon

Celebrity Star Wigs on Display at Italian Embassy

May 1, 2013

Jane Fonda’s funky “Barbarella” outfits, Elizabeth Taylor’s elaborate gowns and exquisite wigs worn in the film “Cleopatra,” and much more, are on display at the Italian Embassy as part of the celebration of the 2013 Year of Italian Culture in the United States.

Fancy wig with a bird (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Fancy wig with a bird

The handmade costume and wig creations by Italian craftspeople for the film industry are the real icons, not reproductions.

The exhibition – “Star Wigs: La Mano Italiano Crea” is open for public viewing until May 7 at the embassy, 3000 Whitehaven NW, DC.

Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero introduced the opening night show at an invitational reception that drew several hundred guests. The Dress in Dreams show by Elisabeth Cantone and Francesca Silvestri is a tribute, as stated by the event promotion, “to one of the most important cultural and historial heritages that is not well known abroad and even in Italy: how to create a character in the film industry.”

Wig with flowers (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Wig with flowers

A purpose of the exhibition is to showcase the intricate skills of the craftsmen and women whose excellence, devotion to details and loving work accomplished in their shops greatly contribute to making  certain films works of art. 

Cleopatra (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Cleopatra

The exhibits consist of wigs and theatrical costumes from films such as The Leopard, Casanova, Marie Antoinette, Barbarella, Moulin Rouge, Cleopatra and others, created by the Laboratory Rocchetti & Rocchetti, Costume Maison Farani, Peruzzi and The One, with their skilled artisans.

Jane Fonda's outfit in the movies (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Jane Fonda's outfit in the movies

At the embassy reception, Laura Delli Colli, journalist and author of several cinema books, presented the documentary Handmade Cinema, directed by Guido Torlonia and Colli, which includes interviews with famous figures of the Italian film industry.

After the embassy opening, there was a private reception at Cafe Milano.

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Georgetown Pizzeria Spotlight on WETA TV 26

April 29, 2013

Pizza in Washington, a new local program from WETA TV 26, explores the flourishing pizza scene in Greater Washington and features Georgetown’s il Canale on 31st Street NW.

Pizza in Washington premieres Tuesday, May 7 at 8 pm on WETA TV 26 and airs through the month. It is a half-hour program that approaches the subject -- pies – as a work of art.

Thin crust pizza is the way to go (Photo by: il Canale) Thin crust pizza is the way to go

To film the documentary, producers and crew set out on a culinary voyage and visited a dozen eateries in the area which offer pizza from true Neapolitan to New York style.

 “As Washington’s local public television station, we are proud to once again feature local flavor, sights and sounds with a new program that provides an inside look into several top area pizzerias and the fascinating story behind them,” said Kevin Harris, vice president and television station manager of WETA.

Pizza in Washington is a dynamic, fun program that showcases one of the region’s favorite foods.”

No other Georgetown restaurant was mentioned in the segment.

Il Canale, Georgetown, was selected by WETA to be included in the program.

Il Canale’s pizza is baked in a wood-fired brick oven imported from Italy. The restaurant’s pizza-making mastery is authenticated by Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the official Italian organization that certifies mastery Neapolitan style thin-crust pizza. The association defines the preparation, the ingredients and baking methods.

Il Canale is owned by Giuseppe “Joe” Farruggio, a native of Sicily.

Publications and blogs have written about the upswing of pizza establishments in the DC area over the last several years and how locals have taken to the pizza renaissance with the passion worthy of Italians.

In somewhat related news, Nick Squires, writing in Rome for The Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group Limited) has an article reprinted on The Drudge Report today, April 29, quoting the Italian Business Federation (FIPE), on the shortage of pizza makers in Italy.  “…with a slice of pizza an increasingly popular lunch time option in times of economic hardship, the pizza sector is booming…and an estimated 6,000 new ‘pizzaioli’ are needed," according to FIPE.

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Roberto Clemente Story Told in Musical at GALA Theatre

April 23, 2013

One of baseball’s all-time greats both on and off the field is exciting fans this spring – not at Nationals Park, but in Columbia Heights at the Gala Theatre.  The story of Roberto Clemente is told in musical form as a retrospective from his funeral. 

Clemente died on December 31, 1972, in a plane crash while on a post-earthquake relief mission to Nicaragua.  Weeks earlier, he had completed his 18th season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, reaching the traditional baseball greatness milestone of 3,000 hits as the season ended.

More than his Hall of Fame exploits on the field, the bi-lingual show in Spanish and English traces the human side of Puerto Rican Clemente, from his fight against discrimination to his many humanitarian efforts.

The D.C. presentation makes for something of a spring doubleheader about the ground-breaking integration efforts of mid-20th-century baseball players.  The other half:  42, the movie about Jackie Robinson.

Like Robinson, Clemente spent a minor league season in Montreal.  Clemente came to the major leagues in 1954, seven seasons after Robinson.  But he still encountered discrimination in his team travels.  His efforts led him to Dr. Martin Luther King and to actions on behalf of the poor in Puerto Rico and elsewhere.

Clemente was a serious man.  But he played the organ, wrote poetry, and danced, making the concept of a musical about his life not so far-fetched.

The show is called DC-7: The Roberto Clemente Story.

DC-7 is the type of aircraft in which he was killed.  Modesto Lacén, who originated the role of Clemente in 2012, Off-Broadway, is also the star of the Gala production.  Luis Caballero, author of the story, lyricist, and co-composer of the music along with Harold Gutiérrez, is the director.  In its debut season, the production won six ACE Awards, six ATI Awards, and two HOLA Awards.

Gala Hispanic Theatre is located at 14th Street and Park Road NW in the business heart of Columbia Heights, two blocks from the Columbia Heights Metro.  The show runs through May 26.  Parking is available at a discount in the Giant parking garage on Park Road NW

Ticket contacts are 202.234.7174 and  Gala Theatre.




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