The Miracle at Naples is certainly a play to be enjoyed by all. This old, Italian-influenced play tells a more modern tale about people, young and old, understanding love.
The story is about an acting troupe that travels Italy during the Renaissance. The eldest member and founder, Don Bertolino Fortunato brings the troupe back to his home town in Naples to perform. During their stay, they realize the town is waiting for the miracle of San Gennaro, a tradition in Naples where the statue of Gennaro cries blood as a foretelling of good things to occur.
During his stay, Don Bertonlino runs into an old friend, Francescina who has seemingly peaked his fancy. Unfortunately, for Don Bertolino, however, Francescina is unwilling to settle as his Naples lady friend and make him dinner. Francescina is a strong woman who decided to stay in Naples to nanny the now-fully-grown Flaminia.
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Flaminia is approaching woman-hood and is on the search for love. She notices Giancarlo, the lead actor of Don Bertonlino’s acting troupe and immediately falls in love. Meanwhile, the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the play, Matteo and Tristano decide to find mischief. These two are clearly the comedic relief of the story, though clearly it is not necessary, given the play in its entirety is filled with laughter and general amusement.
Matteo and Tristano were also looking for love when Don Bertonlino, as to silence them, gave them a fake love potion to help them in their travels. The so-called potion was really an alcoholic beverage, which later got the two inebriated. Intoxicated, Matteo and Tristano found themselves trying to seduce the naive and lovesick Flamenia with the help of their “potion.” Reluctantly, Flamenia drinks the potion in hopes to attract Giancarlo, but rather becomes inebriated herself. The three, drunk looked nothing short of a scene out of bad teen movie. Like students at a frat party, the three start to experiment with the potion and find themselves in an unholy situation between themselves.
While the three are romancing, Franscesina walks in to find her sweet, once-virgin, Flamenia sandwiched between two strange men. Francescina chases the boys out of her house. From outside, Don Bertolino witnesses the event. The two elders get in an argument about the situation, and such is the first half of the play. Flamenia still hasn’t won Giancarlo over, the two boys are still in a loss for love and the elders are in a spat over their “kids” being kids.
After intermission, we are rejoined with Don Bertolino outside his wagon and we’re introduced to his short, “unattractive” daughter. Piccola, nicknamed the “little one.” She proves herself to be quite the spitfire.
Lucy DeVitto gives a great performance as the tough, take-no-crap girl in the all-male comedy troupe. We learn that Piccola, who is as quick-witted as her Father, is more of the organizer of the troupe, but is also in love with Giancarlo. Giancarlo is more interested in the beautiful Flaminia, but too shy to express himself. Finally, we see Giancarlo and Flaminia by the statue of San Gennaro trying to get each other’s attention. The two meet and express their love for one another.
Meanwhile, Matteo and Tristano are still drunk and finding themselves in a playful position. The two complain about not finding love and laughing about the threesome that got broken up. Matteo and Tristano finally decide that the love potion did work, but instead of on a lady, it was on one another.
Don Bertolino and Franscesina are finally in a more relaxed state with one another and find that they are rather fond of one another.
Although everything seems nice and lovey, we find that Piccola is having Giancarlo’s baby and Tristano is not yet willing to admit to his true sexuality. Through a series of comedic events including slapstick comedy and puns, things get resolved. Giancarlo is forced to be Piccola’s husband, Flamenia finds happiness in herself (rather than a significant other), Tristano admits to his love for Matteo and Don Bertolino finally gets to eat.
This comedy is definitely one to see and enjoy. It is filled with laughter in an old setting but with a modern turn of events. People of all ages, gender and sexuality can relate to this play. I recommend it to all of you.