The “Marchese del Grillo” in Messina until Sunday, another bet won by Piparo

Photo of author

By John

A challenge won. Yet another. In front of a very high mountain to climb with an iconic peak like “Il Marchese del Grillo”, cult film by Mario Monicelli with one of the most successful and unforgettable performances of Alberto Sordi’s career. But Massimo Piparo, artistic director of the Sistina in Rome, is not the type to stop when faced with complex challenges and mountains to climb. And so the tour that is setting records in all the theaters of Italy, a revisitation of the first edition of 5 years ago, is an extraordinary success. How cool on Sunday 7 January it will be in Messina, at the Teatro Vittorio Emanuele, directed by Massimo Romeo Piparo and with the overwhelming talent of Max Giusti (tickets still on sale).


The musical comedy is a winning mix of irony and sarcasm, with the original music composed by Emanuele Friello, the choreography by Roberto Croce, the rich scenography by Teresa Caruso and with a great cast of over 30 artists. Including Marco Valerio Montesano, son of Enrico which was the protagonist of the edition five years ago.

A tribute to Rome and to the Roman world, as well as to the glorious tradition of Italian comedy which brings back to the stage and to the affection of the public one of the most loved and rooted characters in the history of the eternal city: the Marquis Onofrio del Grillo, a charismatic nobleman, irremediably idle and mischievous, immodest and cheeky, he will make you smile and reflect with his bittersweet mask. The show, based on the famous 1981 film with Alberto Sordi, box-office hit and laugh-out-loud success, tells the story – inspired by a historical figure who actually existed – which takes you back in time to early 19th century Rome.

«The Marquis del Grillo illuminates Rome in a very particular moment of its contemporary history – says Massimo Romeo Piparo who returns to Messina, after the musical “Cats” last month –. Onofrio del Grillo’s frank philosophy of life pervades the entire comedy with very current references that are tremendously similar to the reality that all Romans have to face on a daily basis: corrupt justice, a Church poised between weak spiritual power and the most bewitching power temporal, the tremendous dilemma of being and appearing, the drama of the poorest contrasted with the cynicism of the powerful; all topics that would seem to photograph the current Italian system and even more the inexorable decline of Rome Capital, but which instead arose almost half a century ago from the happy intuition of great masters of Italian comedy of the second half of the 20th century”.

Extraordinary numbers for a musical that returns to fill Italian theaters after five years.
«The Marquis del Grillo is not just Rome, it is the whole of Italy. A continuous game between being and appearing with a second act that will bring lots of laughter to the spectators. And then there is an extraordinary Max Giusti: Alberto Sordi is a monolith. Max was very good, not forcing anything. He didn’t work to get away from him, but to let go of the Deaf in him. Perfect, a real homage.
And Marco Valerio Montesano, son of Enrico who five years ago was the protagonist, will also be there.
«He is a very good actor beyond the name he bears. And the people of Messina will appreciate him in the guise of Ricciotto’s servant. But overall it is the whole cast that is of absolute value.”

At a time when Italian theater is not doing very well.
«Let’s say it has a bad influence and it cannot be renewed and relaunched. The viewer is now very aware because he finds everything on social media and can easily choose. Reward those who deserve to be rewarded and fail those who are not up to par. Overall it’s not a great moment.”

And Massimo Romeo Piparo returns to his Messina. After the success of the Chapiteau Sistina in Milan.
«Let’s go in order. Chapiteau Sistina was created to be taken wherever we want, including abroad. A traveling theater that brings the style of my products everywhere. Milan is the most ideal place to take a test, the most culturally and economically dynamic place in Italy. In Messina, my return is actually entrusted to Lello Manfredi, a private individual who wants my shows very badly and who takes risks on his own. I don’t yet see a development project that focuses on culture and virtuous mechanisms around shows. Events are good, but they cost a lot of money. With those investments perhaps something else could be created to leave something concrete. Academies, theater courses…”.