Roberto Benigni, “TuttoDante” in the US

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“…Next week he will begin a short North American tour of TuttoDante, a monologue about Dante’s Divine Comedy that mixes literary insights with off-the-cuff political jokes. In Italy, where he has been doing the show regularly for three years, it has drawn more than a million people.” [. . .]    –Ben Sisario, The New York Times, May 22, 2009

Contributed by Pamela Montanaro

“For the record, the Italian actor Roberto Benigni does not believe that New Yorkers are going to Hell. ‘I hope they go to Paradise, every one of them,’ he said last Thursday, in the back seat of a taxi, blinking against the swish and roar of traffic. But that might be because he thinks it’s a journey the city’s residents have already made. ‘This is the beginning of Hell,’ he said. ‘The deeper we go, the greater the range of utterances of grief and fury we will hear. Different colors of people. Slang! Obscenity! Curses! Sighs! Keening!’ He paused while a van blasted its air horn. ‘This is really the sound of Hell,’ he said. ‘But we need to pass through the Inferno to reach Paradise.'” [. . .]    –Stephan Faris, The New Yorker, June 1, 2009

Contributed by Patrick Molloy