By Sandra Tornberg

The classic Italian comedy Miseria e Nobiltà (Misery and Nobility) was presented at the Marygrove Conservancy and Liberal Arts Theater in Detroit on Saturday, March 9. The play was written in the Neapolitan dialect by Eduardo Scarpetta in 1887. The play was produced by the Dante Alighieri Society of Michigan, supported by the Consulate of Italy in Detroit through the ongoing LoveITDetroit project. It was presented in Neapolitan, with English supertitles, which were created by members of the cast based on their translation. A talented, and passionate group of amateurs made up the cast and crew, known as TeatriAmo. Miseria e Nobiltà is a comedy highlighting the social differences between the two opposing worlds of poverty and nobility. The sets, representing a shabby dwelling for the first act, and a regal home for the second act, were created and assembled by a dedicated crew.

The hilarious plot begins with the Marquis Eugenio, who is in love with the beautiful stage dancer Gemma, the daughter of a cook who has inherited money. Gemma’s father will not allow her to marry Eugenio without first meeting his parents, but Eugenio knows they will not accept the marriage. So, he convinces some penniless friends to play the part of his aristocratic relatives in Gemma’s house. Gags, twists, and turns follow continuously throughout the play as the fake relatives do their best to appear as members of the Neapolitan aristocracy. The exposure of the plan is imminent, but in the end, everything ends better than expected.

The cast received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the audience of over 370 spectators, who were clearly delighted by the evening’s entertainment.

DETROIT, MI – MARCH 9: Miseria e Nobiilta (Poverty and Nobility) by Eduardo Scarpetta at Marygrove Conservancy and Liberal Arts Theater on March 9, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Darren Clark/Redfoot Vegas Images)
*** CAST***

Felice: Giovanni Mastrangelo
Pasquale: Massimo Risi (Director)
Gaetano: Fortunato Cappelleri
Concetta: Consiglia (Lia) Adelfi
Eugenio: Miro Marcelli
Luisella: Mena Abagnale
Gioacchino: Tonino Corsetti
Pupella: Anna Pedalino
Bettina: Sandra Marinelli
Luigino: Massimo Fulfaro
Peppeniello: Riccardo Aloi
Gemma: Erika Caturegli
Biagina: Sandra Tornberg
Customer: Marco Piovesan
Passerby: Ryan Newcom
Waiter 1: Gianluca Di Stefano
Waiter 2: Pierluigi Lantieri