"If we exclude Charlot, no one has been able to create such a brilliant show"... Charlie Chaplin
Vittorio Podrecca was the creator of the largest puppet theater of the entire 20th century. The company he directed, "Il Teatro dei Piccoli", has, since its creation in 1914, constituted an innovative type of theater, capable of reaping triumphs all over the world. Characteristic of his numerous shows, was his ability to absorb and restore the cultural elements of the towns crossed and present them inside the stories as if these were pieces of fantasy. Admired by personalities such as Gabriele D 'Annunzio, Eleonora Duse, Charlie Chaplin, Podrecca witnessed an entire century, which was vital and very rich in history and culture, not only theatre. His extravagant theatrical life spanned the entire twentieth century, registering all the concerns and fashions, innovations and events. The show "Piccoli" was the longest-running and best-known Italian theatrical enterprise of the last century, becoming one of the major protagonist in the field of entertainment and art.
Main characters of the stories are the dusty tables of a stage, the bulky wooden crates and small sacks of colored fabric which, once hung, turned out to be magnificent puppets. Acting as a frame to the characters, a real stage machine that, from the top of an old wooden bridge, hides the animators. With skilful and confident movements, the puppeteers through stories and music gave voice to their splendid puppets who, like real little wooden actors, prepared themselves to start a new show.
The most important work that Podrecca staged is "Variety", since its debut, the show achieved unanimous acclaim from audiences and critics and was replicated all over the world. It includes some of the funniest, most famous and imaginative musical numbers of the "Piccoli" repertoire: for example, a suffering opera singer "Sinforosa Strangoloni" who sings a sonata together with the very patient pianist “Piccolowsky”. Or the episode representing circus numbers together with "Serafina" the juggler and "Bill Boll Bull", reaching up to the episode of the "Death of the Swan", a true masterpiece, played by the movement of a puppet. Podrecca's revolutionary ideas were to enrich the show with brand new musical moments and alternate them with musical genres and folk traditions of the countries he visited.
The puppets and all the exhibits have been declared "of Exceptional Cultural Interest" by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism.
This world made of fantasy and reality, tradition and modernism, fun and entertainment, allows children to be enchanted by these characters, and adults to be captured by the poetry they express.
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