Fringe Review: Eating Pasta Off the Floor



You don't have to have an Italian mother to appreciate Maria Grazia Affinito's solo show Eating Pasta Off the Floor -- a Jewish, Greek, or any other old-world ethnic one will do. Affinito observes her tempestuous with her outspoken parent through the prism of a visit to the home country for a family wedding. Maria's mama is the kind of colorful character that strangers adore and relatives can't stand: offering to sell her single daughter to the Spanish-speaking supermarket clerk, scavenging aluminum cans for the garbage, and eating raw garlic instead of her diabetes medication.

Affinito feels trapped between worlds -- her mother's rigid traditions, which insists that topics like divorce are verboten; the schoolyard scraps of their mostly-Hispanic barrio; and the All-American existence to which she aspires. At first, the humiliations Maria's mom loving dispenses are a source of mirth, but the tale darkens as it progresses with wartime atrocities and domestic abuse (including the titular trauma).

The script's episodic structure is a little too scattershot to build a strong narrative through-line, and some major incidents like a kidnapping are curiously glossed over. But Affinito's mercurial shifts from tragedy to comedy consitently commanded my attention. A little pathos, a little popera, and a welcome lesson on having patience with our parents make this transatlantic trip worth taking.

Note: This review is based on a preview performance that the press was invited to attend.


Eating Pasta Off The Floor

Maria Grazia Affinito (San Rafael, CA)

Rating: G14 (Adult Language)

Run Time: 60 minutes


Red Venue

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Solo-Show

Show Times:

Fri, May 17 2013, 6:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.

Sat, May 18 2013, 7:30p.m. - 8:30p.m.

Sun, May 19 2013, 10:45p.m. - 11:45p.m.

Mon, May 20 2013, 10:00p.m. - 11:00p.m.

Wed, May 22 2013, 7:30p.m. - 8:30p.m.

Sat, May 25 2013, 9:15p.m. - 10:15p.m.

Sun, May 26 2013, 9:00p.m. - 10:00p.m.


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