Stage Right's 'Pinocchio' casts a musical spell
It's a new school year, but Anthony Marino, 13, a seventh-grade student at Greensburg Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School, is already studying, reviewing his script in preparation for his role this weekend as Pinocchio in Stage Right's 15th season-opening production of Disney's “My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto's Musical Tale.”
For Marino, his biggest challenge isn't all the lines he delivers or the songs he sings in the adaptation of the story about the puppet that becomes a boy; it's with the time he's onstage before his transformation takes place.
“For the first 20 minutes of the show, I'm sitting on a stool, not moving at all until the Blue Fairy (played by his mother, Renata Marino) waves her wand and I come alive,” he says.
After that, he sings and dances his way through the musical alongside his toymaker father, Geppetto, played by John Noble. The two have appeared together in several productions and teamed up for Stage Right's performances of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
Noble says this version of Pinocchio considers the children's story from the viewpoint of his character rather than the boy, providing “Geppetto's back story.” In the play, the father wishes so hard for a son but he becomes frustrated when Pinocchio doesn't follow the rules. He asks the Blue Fairy to take him back, until he eventually comes to the realization that he loves his son despite his imperfections.
Noble points out that the composer of “My Son Pinocchio,” Stephen Schwartz, also wrote the score for “Wicked,” which follows a similar format in telling the story of “The Wizard of Oz” from the witches' point of view.
“The new music in this show is just infectious and the kids are wonderful,” Noble says. Familiar songs from the classic Disney animated feature include “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “I've Got No Strings.”
Besides his rapport with the cast, the local theater veteran is finding this production special for the memories it recalls.
“When I hear Renata singing ‘When You Wish Upon a Star,' I'm a kid again, on Sunday nights with my family watching ‘Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color' on TV,” Noble says. “With this production, I get to step into a classic and live the journey. We end up in the whale, of course. It's been a fun adventure for me.”
The cast of nearly 90 professional actors and Stage Right students includes Tony Marino as director and the character Buonragazzo, David Mahokey portraying Stromboli, and featured young actors, including Grace Rusnica of Hempfield, Julia Boyle of Greensburg, Brandon Shawl of Yough and Ben Pimental of Mt. Pleasant.
Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- State law complicates Allegheny County proposal for letter grading of restaurants
- Alle-Kiski Valley roundup: Riverview volleyball outs Chartiers-Houston
- Bill Clinton to campaign in Pittsburgh for Pa. gubernatorial candidate
- House 58th District seat candidates focus on education, taxes
- Ross brothers ordered to pay fine, remove debris from Christmas display
- Rossi: Fleury is, and will remain, Penguins’ soul
- Rural communities can’t shake effects of subprime crisis
- Russian steel to lose duty shelter
- Nearing season’s midpoint, Steelers still have issues to sort out
- Testing legs, giving backup goalie a chance are Penguins’ priorities
- Pittsburgh Area, Moon military commissary opening draws 400 visitors