Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: San Francisco

Ennio is an Amazing, Zany Entertainer

Also see Richard's reviews of Alice in Wonderland, Seussical and Love, Janis

Berkeley Repertory Theatre recently presented a limited engagement of Ennio Marchetto's aptly titled show, Ennio. This celebrity impressionist keeps the audience howling for a fast 70 minutes using origami-esque cut paper costumes. Ennio performed through July 23rd at the Berkeley Roda Theatre.

This quick change artist races through 50 life size costumes lampooning politicians, celebrities and historical figures in a show that is part commedia dell'arte and part Disney. He changes from one character to another in the blink of an eye to music in perfect sync with the changes. What this talented artist does with his body and 50 colored paper costumes is wickedly hilarious.

The Italian born artist is a master of split-second personality fruition. He instantly morphs from Frank Sinatra singing "Strangers in the Night" to Nancy Sinatra in "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'." One of the most hilarious bits is his Barbra Streisand singing "I'm Just a Woman In Love" morphing into the dynamic "Wonder Woman."

Ennio is also a skillful dancer and mime when he goes from Gene Kelly "Singin' in the Rain" to Stevie Wonder singing "Isn't She Lovely." Sometimes there are two costumes, such as Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong singing "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off." His transformation from a Russian nesting doll to a large Russian dance chorus to music by a Russian composer is incredible.

Through Ennio's great energy, a lot is thrown at you in short span of time. At times I wished he would spend longer presenting each character. At other times I had no idea what character he was portraying. That said, he is a master of timing.

Ennio played through Sunday July 23rd at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre Roda Theatre.

Photo: Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Cheers - and be sure to Check the lineup of great shows this season in the San Francisco area

- Richard Connema

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