Al Magistra is a widower, a father of four children, and the owner of a clothing store. He rules his life and those about him with an iron hand. He's a first-generation Italian American - and there's a strong element of ethnicity to what transpires.
He revels in the sameness of his life - and in the comfort it brings.
Then one day at lunch, something happens.
Al is, as always, holding court with his friend Joe Gillini and his head clerk Nina Buonfigolla. Joe's life is messed up: he's in debt, his wife is unfaithful, his son is in jail. Nina, in contrast, presents a cool exterior.
Then Al's son, Jim, who is "away at college" - just a ten-minute walk from the store - arrives with a girlfriend: Sally Burns from Montana. Jim went away to college to meet different kinds of people. Sally, who is actually half Italian, came east to meet some Italian boys.
Learning this causes Jim "to explode." And as everyone joins in the debate - and in all manner of side debates - each person is forced to learn who they really are.
Al and Nina - are right there for each other, but Al, as Nina says, seems intent on throwing away happiness with both hands. Joe has scheme after scheme to make money and straighten out his life - from becoming a priest to baking bread for sale; and it takes an insight from Sally to provide the solution. Jim almost throws it all away, but Nina sets him straight.
And Al and his son can't seem to connect - until Al reveals the reason he drinks Coca-Cola mixed with chocolate syrup.
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.33(d)|
About the Author
Mendillo has independently published two novels-Dancing Naked with the Devil and Marvin Piersoll-and three memoirs-Football, Bella in America and Nuns!
His novel Marvin Piersoll won the fiction category in the 2011 New York Book Festival
Mendillo has had 18 productions of 11 full-length plays-two of them off-off-Broadway; and two others have received off-off-Broadway staged readings. He's been produced regionally in Massachusetts, upstate New York and Los Angeles.
His new play-The Nickel Jar-is a serious comedy about a man desperately trying to save his marriage and his family.
He's written two dramas based on classic works: A House that God Hates-a modern version of Aeschylus' Agamemnon; and Agnes in Camelot-a modern retelling of the Arthurian legend.
His wildly dark comedy Mates won the Wykeham Rise National Playwrighting Contest and was produced off-off-Broadway. Eventually, this led to the Mates Trilogy-with all three plays being presented at the Little Theater in Binghamton, NY. The second play of the trilogy, Mates in Paradise, was also produced at the Orpheum Repertory, in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Mendillo's comedy of his generation, The Last Baby Boomer, received a staged reading by the New England Repertory Company, as part of its Festival of New Plays; it was produced off-off-Broadway at the Impact Theater; and it received an off-off-Broadway reading at New Perspectives.
Mendillo was playwright-in-residence for the Orpheum Repertory Company in Massachusetts. He was a founding board member of the New England Repertory Company and was its playwright-in-residence.
Mendillo also has extensive journalism experience; he's written more than 600 works of short fiction and feature articles and humor columns for the Providence Journal, Canton Journal, and Warwick Beacon.
Mendillo grew up in Rhode Island; he studied writing at Brown University-where he earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Creative Writing/Playwrighting.
Mendillo lives in Canton, Massachusetts.