ENNIO at Theatre on the Square, in San Francisco

Standing ovations, cheering crowds and the kind of critical acclaim others only dream about have greeted Italian comic genius Ennio Marchetto and his hilarious show ENNIO, since his explosive opening at Theatre on the Square February 16. The 70-minute romp, in which Marchetto, in black tights, uses nothing but imagination, paper costumes and his own gloriously expressive face and hands to send up an incredible succession of more than 50 pop culture figures, is now extended through May 7, 2000. The Oakland Tribune proclaimed: "This show is laugh-out-loud funny."

Marchetto takes his art into a new realm of cutting-edge originality as he magically transforms into hilarious characterizations, all set to a brilliant soundtrack of instantly recognizable hits. His manic fantasy world includes a star-studded line-up ranging from the sublime (Mona Lisa, Madame Butterfly and Venus de Milo) to the ridiculous (Madonna stripping down to bare bones and Celine Dion morphing into the Titanic), and much more.

His lightning quick changes include the mutation of the Pope into Fidel Castro, Queen Elizabeth II into Freddie Mercury of Queen, and Gene Kelly into Stevie Wonder. The juxtaposition of characters, together with his ability to capture the personalities of the icons he parodies only add to the hilarity. The showís wide variety of pop icons makes it accessible for audiences of all ages, from fans of Judy Garland to those of Britney Spears.

Earlier this year, the New York debut of this Venetian-born comic genius earned Marchetto a Drama Desk nomination for Unique Theatrical Experience. In London, he was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Entertainment in 1993. Granada Television produced a film about his life and career, which aired on the ITV network, and he now performs constantly on television networks worldwide.


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