Who would have thought Dead Man’s Mambo would have come from such a lofty art form as commedia dell’arte. But John Bellomo, a Philadelphia comedian/Italian traveler/funny guy, provided the Fringe Festival crowd with belly laughs on the foibles of traveling on Interstate 95 and other such topical absurdities.
Bellomo starts the show alone on stage and dressed in white with only his silent partner, a deadpan who provides the musical interludes, including a take on an old Elvis tune. The joke of the night, however, is that the show lost the troupe due to that aforementioned accident on the New Jersey Turnpike…“but no one was hurt.”
So Bellomo has to go it alone in a very physical performance where he takes on the parts of all the misfortunate “accident victims.” Highlights included a dashing sword fight a la Don Quixote – a parry and a reposte with a coat rack that was meant represent an Italian courtier. And the back-and-forth improvisation with audience members. Love the hat tossing. And the silly jokes.
Kudos to Director Brendon Gawel, Musician Andrew Clotworthy, Stage Manager Alyssa Cole, and the multi-talented Messenger John Bellomo. Catch the crazy antics of his commedia troupe OMBELICO Mask Ensemble in Dead Man’s Mambo.
For more information and to purchase tickets, read our Fringe preview.