Piece noire (canaria) (2009)
directed by Enzo Moscato
with Lucia Poli (La signora), Lalla Esposito (Hong Kong Suzy), Gea Martire (Shangai Lil), Valentina Capone (Desiderio), Maria Luisa Santella (La monaca), Cristina Donadio (Sisina), Enzo Moscato (angelo nero; dal 2010: Desiderio), Gino Curcione (Grete Garbo), Tonino Taiuti (Giggino), Carlo Di Maio (Lo Smilzo; dal 2010: Shangai Lil), Giuseppe Affinito jr (en travesti), Salvatore Chiantone (Lo Smilzo, dal 2010), Agostino Chiummariello (una vicina; dal 2010: Giggino), Salvio Moscato (una vicina), Francesco Moscato (dal 2010: angelo nero)
scenes by Paolo Petti
costumes by Tata Barbalato; ali indossate da Moscato realizzate da Tramontano
photo by Fiorenzo de Marinis
lights by Cesare Accetta
musical selection by Giankamos
music by Carlo Faiello
assistant director Carlo Guitto
director of scenes Gino Grossi
assistant of costumes Luciano Briante
production Napoli Teatro Festival Italia e Mercadante Teatro Stabile di Napoli, in coproduzione con Compagnia Enzo Moscato, in collaborazione con Benevento Città Spettacolo
Premiere Naples Teatro Festival, Teatro Mercadante, June 2009
Black like a Piece of Theatre
by Carlo Titomanlio
“My boy, the début – any kind of début – is extremely important”.
This is the first line of Pièce Noire (Canaria), and it is an incipit which enigmatically and metatheatrically serves the purpose of summarising the entire story of what is about to happen. But we only understand this at the end, after a complex, intricate development, which is made even more complex by Moscato’s dense, overcharged pen, a rich linguistic paste made of Neapolitan language and exotic aromas, with poetic flights and abysses of triviality.
The protagonist is La Signora, a sort of entrepreneur who orchestrates sordid bar appearances and prostitution of a group of transvestites with exotic names like Hong Kong Suzy and Shanghai Lil (which explicitly reference Marlene Dietrich’s Shanghai Lily from 1932 and Nancy Kwan, the main character of Richard Quine’s 1960 film The World of Suzy Wong). La Signora’s past, we learn, is a past made of humiliating adventures with what she calls ‘money-men’ or ‘dollar-men’, experiences which have nevertheless made her rich and reputable (“I’ve made a killing with them, disgusting myself, making myself sick.. always!”). Her horror for the world of moral corruption which she herself is an active and passive player in seems to find a form of redemption in the young Desiderio (‘desire’). Desiderio is beautiful, has good manners, he’s uncorrupted, clean, and he’s La Signora’s favourite, looked after and kept close until his 25th birthday. But the kind of redemption La Signora is after is not the kind parents may nurture towards the success of their children; what La Signora wants with Desiderio is the perverse creation of the perfect being, a being intellectually and physically superior, a sort asexual angel or perfect androgynous creature. And in order to cultivate her wish, as becomes clear through the whispers and utterances of the other characters on stage, La Signora hasn’t hesitated to commit the worst kinds of atrocities over the years, with the help of Giggino, ex lover and accomplice in a trade of children destined to her business.