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How Alfo Learned To Love

From 8 critic and 0 member reviews

About the show

59E59 Theaters presents a romantic comedy about an Italian-American playboy who must find true love or lose the family's Italian bakery to his married sister. More…

Alfo Idello has an addiction to women. At age 34, Alfo works with a stunning - and single - female psychiatrist to understand why he can't commit. He re-lives his teenage years growing up with his six sisters in the family's estrogen-fueled Italian bakery in Brooklyn. Alfo’s father will only allow Alfo to inherit the family bakery if he is married so Alfo's grandfather, the bakery's founder, returns from the dead to help Alfo find his soul mate, get married, and revitalize the bakery. What will it take to make Alfo give up the sugar?


"There is a lot of heart behind this story. Walker has brought to life a group of characters who are quirky and lovable, and in the end it really feels like a family affair...This redemption story about learning to love is a rollicking good time. Backed by strong performances and direction, a slick and consistent pace, and an entertaining script which sticks to a winning formula, nary a soul is likely to leave this theater without a smile." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"A remarkably gifted ensemble cast that makes a relatively thin, overly familiar story seem richly appointed and, at moments, quite moving...The cast’s agility allows one to overlook some deficiencies in the script and production. Amelio’s plotting can be a bit sluggish...But those are mere quibbles. Everything considered, 'Alfo' is very enjoyable company." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"Things are certainly unsurprising for anyone who recalls even the merest 'Moonstruck' details. But as is often the case with predictable plots, how the playwright gets there can be more than enough to keep the interest. Amelio does a smooth job of it, and there are impressive contributions from director and the cast." Full Review


"Director Daisy Walker deserves plaudits for kneading everything together nicely...Could the production have been leavened further? Certainly Grandpa’s incessant over-the-shoulder advice from The Great Beyond gradually grew old. And the steady stream of cultural cliches occasionally threatened to veer off into Olive Garden ad parody. Ultimately, however, I learned to like 'How Alfo Learned to Love.'" Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"This lightweight Italian-American soup of stereotypes and verbal clichés, may...make you think of 'Moonstruck,'...if only to 'Alfo'’s detriment. 'How Alfo Learned to Love'...actually contains some appealing material; surprisingly, though, considering all the actors with vowel-ending names—except for the pleasant but miscast Mr. Thom—the production rarely succeeds in realizing it. Some actors underplay, others are too broad, and the comic style never coalesces." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"Individual scenes strung together do not make for a complete play, and what should be as light as a sliver of Italian pastry carries with it the burden of too many plot threads, so that the cumulative effect is like that of having eaten an entire plateful of cannoli. Lots of delicious bites, but, really, it is too much to try to digest all of those empty calories at once." Full Review

Woman Around Town

"What saves the piece from complete cliché and frankly makes one expect more from Playwright Vincent Amelio, are several malaprop speeches by Tony and the wonderfully imaginative description of the purgatory...Director Daisy Walker does a yeoman-like job...We’re kind of in 'Moonstruck' territory without the quirky, well defined characters. There’s talent here, but too much that’s stock." Full Review

Village Voice

"'How Alfo Learned to Love' is about as satisfying as cold pizza...the premise is as soggy as old cannoli...Making matters worse is a conceit that has the grandfather feeding Alfo his love lines, which the baker instantly echoes more or less verbatim...Audience members might fee they're trapped in a theater on East 59th Street." Full Review

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Cast & Creatives (11)