Abingdon Theatre presents a world premiere coming-of-age tale by playwright Charles Messina, set in Greenwich Village during the '70s. Starring Ralph Macchio. More…
Charles Messina's semi-autobiographical comedy, 'A Room of My Own,' revolves around a writer who grows up in a wacky Italian-American family. Set in a small tenement apartment in late 1970s Greenwich Village, the play follows in the grand tradition of playwrights like Neil Simon, who used their own early family lives as inspiration to create indelible and uniquely American Broadway hits.
“Charles Messina’s 'A Room of My Own' is so convincing, you’ll feel like a fly on the wall…Framing may sound cliché, but Messina has conceived people with so much specificity and humanity one is drawn in and, eyebrow raised, happily remains. An extremely entertaining piece realized by a solid ensemble...Direction by Messina is remarkable...Both pathos and comedy are wisely played straight to their best advantage." Full Review
"Charles Messina’s hilarious new play, which he also directs, is being narrated by Adult Carl (Ralph Macchio), telling his family’s story and inner-most secrets...The play is a mix of humor and pathos, and an odd kinda family love and unity, filled with fast-talking conversations that can sometimes make your head spin, and a lot of heart. The cast is A-1 and life just unfolds in the Morelli household as Adult Carl keeps writing, his memories alive with the laughs and craziness." Full Review
"Playwright and director Charles Messina wishes everyone a merry frickin’ Christmas in the raucous and riotous, and poignant and bittersweet, 'A Room of My Own'...Messina’s sharp writing is evident throughout 'A Room of My Own,' which he also directs with an electric, nonstop pace. The mostly Italian-American cast is exceptional...The actors have developed a real feeling of family that translates beautifully to the stage." Full Review
"Rip-roaringly hilarious with the sort of language that needs an R rating. However, from the delighted reaction of the audience at the performance under review, the dialogue peppered with curses and four-letter words did not faze them one bit...Messina uses an interesting Pirandellian device which is only partially successful...This is a play that will entertain you while you are in the theater and stay with you after you leave for its authenticity." Full Review
"Messina, who also directs the piece, gives us an authentic look into an all Italian family and the struggles they overcome to stay together. We are instantly transported into the chaos, loudness, and love that this family shares. The only thing louder than the many expletives in the piece is its huge heart, which draws you in no matter how unwilling you may be...The cast is sensational...This is one of the best plays I have seen in a while." Full Review
"The f-bombs are so frequent in...A Room of My Own, an often fabulously funny autobiographical family farce-drama, that even a 10-year-old kid gets to freely fling them around like Frisbees...While much depends on fast and furious repartee, with numerous outrageous wisecracks, there’s a healthy dollop of physical humor,...Wondering if you should make room for 'A Room of My Own'? Fuhgeddaboudit!" Full Review
"'A Room of My Own' is a truly hilarious memoir of growing up Italian-American in New York City. That doesn't mean it isn't also heartbreaking. Messina introduces us to a world in which comedy and tragedy go hand in hand...While his script occasionally feels half-finished, Messina's production is exquisitely detailed...Despite a slack plot, Messina's dialogue crackles with wit and vulgarity. Even in the most dramatic moments, a hilarious profanity-laced tirade is never far off." Full Review
"Plays about dysfunctional families are nothing new, but at least the screwed-up Italian family in 'A Room of My Own,' is an amusing one...Thanks to Macchio’s performance as well as to the smooth writing, the play succeeds in moving in and out of time without being jarring...The play, which runs a tight 95 minutes without intermission, is often uproariously funny, with the laugh lines and situations all the more amusing because the cast members go through their paces seriously." Full Review
"It is raunchy and inconsequential. Sometimes, it is also hilarious...The laughs, assembled in unexpected ways by writer-director Charles Messina, are fast and furious, concealing the fact that there isn’t much of anything else going on here. Sometimes the one-liners suffice. What they say about the possibility of living long enough to someday see a black president in the White House is worth the price of admission...Messina makes each member of the Morelli clan as human as they are obnoxious." Full Review
"'A Room of My Own' has all the elements for a television sitcom, and at times actually starts to feel like one. Fortunately, for the most part Messina, doing double duty here as writer and director, manages to get past the pitfall of cute situations and easy answers via the strong realism he injects into the story. Thus making one feel they know the various characters quite intimately...Funny, harsh and touching, the play touches all the bases in this theatrical home run of family life." Full Review
"This is ridiculously funny, with a very sensitive undertone; so let me tell you how it goes...This play is an affirmation that we can’t change the past, as much as we sometimes would like to remember it in a different way. This cast is crackling with wit." Full Review
"This semi-autobiographical play is aptly directed by the playwright himself…Messina can be crowned the king of crude, in-your-face, comedic dialogue…Johnny Tammaro gives a strong performance in his role as Peter Morelli…The ever-youthful Mr. Macchio runs up and down the aisle...He makes us like the character of Carl, and we empathize with this college-educated, well-spoken man, who decades later, still struggles to understand his ignorant mother." Full Review
"As theater, it is pretty good. The cast is well suited to their roles, and the dialogue—despite its inside baseball tendencies—is snappy and entertaining. Unlike some writers, Messina seems to know how to direct his own work, perhaps because this particular piece is so specific to his own experience...These elements combine to smooth the play’s rougher edges, giving the occasionally cartoonish proceedings some depth and definition." Full Review
"There’s often a necessary suspension of disbelief when it comes to accepting two actors as blood relatives. Tribuzio and Cantone don’t require it, and better yet, her Dotty is one of those great monster mothers who pop up in the theater from time to time. Amanda Wingfield, Mama Rose, and Violet Weston can welcome Dotty Morelli to their club...For all its life and energy, 'A Room of My Own' is one of those 90-minute plays that needs an intermission and another half hour." Full Review
"A brash, overstuffed cartoon of a memory play about an Italian-American family in 1979 Greenwich Village...Directed by Mr. Messina for the Abingdon Theater Company, the production is anything but subtle...'Room' means to be a play about how Carl became a writer. But grown-up Carl is awfully bland...What the play mainly becomes instead, in the hands of Mr. Cantone and the very fine Ms. Tribuzio, is a brother-sister story of ferocious devotion." Full Review
"Until Mario Cantone enters voice first, this show is like a sitcom for the low class...Cantone steals the show, with Tribuzio keeping up the pace. Tammaro is the perfect choice for casting and we believe every moment of his deadbeat father role. Even the young Bustamante is a perfect fit..Messina also directs this piece and is a better director [than writer]. Many will like this overly abundant four-letter word play. Me? I need more than 90 minutes of seeing how the lower class live." Full Review
"Little Carl (Nico Bustamante) and Uncle Jackie (Mario Cantone) pretty much steal the show which is more a sitcom with a constant barrage of F-bombs than the moving, introspective memory play it wants to be...Unfortunately the rest of the cast don't have young Mr. Bustamante's charm or Mr. Cantone's acting prowess and experience...Except for the scenes dominated by Uncle Jackie a lot of the comedy falls flat." Full Review
"The idea of being able to travel back to relive one’s earlier days is naturally a very appealing one for audiences. Unfortunately the fantastical device comes off as a bit stilted here...Sometimes I found myself wishing he would quit interrupting so that I could watch the 1979 story unfold uninterrupted...Some of the bickering helps explicate character and some of it is comical. But at points it grows tiresome." Full Review
"The characters in Charles Messina's new play are so unruly, not even he can control them. No matter how much he—and we—may want them to shut up, they insist on venting, usually at the top of their voices...It's possible that another director might have gotten more modulated performances from the cast, but Messina has encouraged them to keep the action at a wearyingly unsustainable pitch." Full Review
"While it’s sweet to see [Ralph Macchio] venture out in a small off-Broadway show, you wish he’d picked a better one than 'A Room of My Own'...The weirdest thing about Charles Messina’s autobiographical play is how radically different the two Carls are. The grown-up one is soft-spoken and appears fundamentally nice, while the young one is a toxic, profanity-spewing kid. Maybe the real show is what happened to Carl on the way to adulthood." Full Review
"Messina seems to be serving up a slice of life, but there's barely a plot; for that matter, there are barely any events...It's more a series of skits...Things like this could matter less if the characters and their world were more vivid, but they're a collection of stock characters with stock accents...'A Room of My Own' comes across as just as aimless as it does derivative." Full Review
See it if You want to sit back, relax and enjoy a funny play about an Italian family living in a Greenwich Village tenement in the late 70's.
Don't see it if Want to see a highly thought-provoking story or an entertaining musical. Stay away, if you are put off by abusive language.
See it if You are into nostalgic/memoir theater or would enjoy the dialect and antics of a Italian-American NYC tenement family in the late 1970's.
Don't see it if You are over shows that primarily focus on family dysfunction or ethic humor/stereotypes --though this is a particularly endearing version
See it if Abt Italian Americans but would compare yo married with chikdren and Archie bunker. Have good sense of humor & can handle old school jokes
Don't see it if Easily offended. Don't like cursing
See it if You want to laugh so hard until your belly hurts. Every line just gets better and better. Love going back in time. Love the set.
Don't see it if You can not tolerate cursing and subjects that are usually off limits for today's society.
See it if You enjoy having some laughs abt family. The cast is so funny. Not afraid to take risk. Going back in time when was ok to make fun @ others
Don't see it if You are easily offended. You are sensitive. Don't like cursing. Can't take a personal joke.
See it if You want to laugh and cry. Love to remember 1970's and Paco- dj! Ralph macchio and Mario Cantone are excellent. Cast carefully chosen.
Don't see it if You are easily offended. Don't like cursing.
See it if Great acting, great set design, set in 1979, understand that everyone has a crazy family- don't need to be Italian to get the jokes.
Don't see it if You don't have a great sense of humor. Must be able to understand that love is shown in all different ways. In 1979 it was different.
See it if You grew up in the seventies! This show is hysterical. Loved every minute. The actors were great & Little Carl was a natural.
Don't see it if You get easily offended. You need to have a sense of humor.
See it if You want to see a GREAT show with excellent acting. A Room of My Own keeps you entertained from start to finish. I loved it!
Don't see it if You are not a fan cursing.
See it if You grew up in an Italian American family, have Italian American friends, or come from a middle class family that knows the struggles.
Don't see it if Honestly can't think of anyone who wouldn't enjoy this show. Someone who takes offense easily maybe.
See it if Just see it! It was wonderful! The cast was outstanding and Ralph Macchio was great bringing you "onstage" and back in time with him!
Don't see it if There was foul language, but that was the time.
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