ROMEO & BERNADETTE, a delightfully delicious romantic musical comedy, barrels along with dames, dons and dizzy comedy to a happy ending, accompanied by some of the world’s most recognizable Italian melodies, famous from movies, television and many, many pizzerias. Originally produced in the States at the legendary Papermill Playhouse, Ro & Bern has recently had enormous success overseas, especially in Southeast Asia.
In addition to several other productions in this lovely corner of the globe, Manila’s Repertory Philippines’ 73rd Season featured ROMEO & BERNADETTE, under the direction of Associate Artistic Director Joy Virata. The show’s author relayed his thoughts on the production via BroadwayWorld.com. “I’m so proud and honored to have my musical produced in Manila. I wish Repertory Philippines success in staging this important production,” said Ro & Bern author Mark Saltzman.
Saltzman is an Emmy award-winning script and songwriter, and creator of THE TIN PAN ALLEY RAG (an Off-Broadway musical that toys around with a fictional meeting between Scott Joplin and a young Irving Berlin set in 1915.) I interviewed Saltzman about the show recently from his home in the Los Angeles area to get his take on the shows origins.
“I always loved mob movies C not just the Godfather, and Sopranos, all the black and white gangster movies. And I come from the Bronx, so that New York dialect and attitude is what I grew up with. And I always loved the Italian music the neighbors were playing and singing. So I guess the inspiration was putting these elements I love into a pot, adding a copy of Romeo and Juliet and the result, when served over pasta, was ROMEO & BERNADETTE,” Saltzman said.
The score features a great mix of musical styles that offers an amazing array of roles and opportunities for directors and performers alike.
“Ro & Bern is a mix of styles. Some of the mobsters sing in a swinging-Vegas Frank Sinatra- Harry Connick style, which the actors have a lot of fun with. Romeo’s style of singing is larger-than-life ‘Phantom of the Opera’. Bernadette has some Sixties girl-group, ‘Grease’ / ‘Hairspray’ working,” Saltzman continued, “Believe, me, (preparing for these roles) will be the most fun the actors ever will have with research.”
For more information on producing ROMEO & BERNADETTE at your theater, visit:http://www.theatricalrights.com/romeo-bernadette