• “First Generation Sicilian American”

    04.20.2009

    by Gary (Gaspare) Portuesi, Brooklyn NYC

    Dear Frank,
    As a first-generation Sicilian American who grew up in Brooklyn (Gravesend/Bensonhurst), I could not be more in tune with your performance and subject-matter. I cannot wait to get to my mother’s house this afternoon (the same one we grew up in) for our Sunday pranzo and tell her and my sisters about the show. I laughed my head off with a lot of your lines, and held back the tears with some of the others. Your dialogue about finally having a voice struck a deep chord with me.

    Thank you for capturing 45 years of my life. I was skeptical about the show when my friend Lori mentioned it to us and thought it might be another “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” type of thing. But no, it was truly intelligent, emotional, poignant, and fun. You are a great writer and performer and I wish you the very best.

    Sorry for rambling, but it’s such a pleasure to run into a Sicilian-American like me who is educated and appreciates the two worlds (my 18 first cousins and my family have nothing in common other than sharing recipes and attending first communions and baptisms). I shied away from dating Sicilian/Italian-Americans for the longest time (I would only date “giure”) until I found my partner Sal who is also Sicilian-American and who grew up 10 blocks from my home (imagine being a GAY Sicilian-American!).

    Anyway, I will leave you with this. My birth name is Gaspare, though I’ve been called Gary since I started grammar school at PS 215 in Brooklyn. You could imagine how I was riveted the minute the show began.
    All the best to you—

    Gary (Gaspare) Portuesi

  • “Memory Lane”

    by Vincent Mariconda, Middle Village NYC

    I attended the 2:00 pm performance on March 29 with Barbara (Rehm) McCabe.
    What a pleasurable trip down memory lane in the company of a gifted and hard
    working guide! Basta, here’s my story.

    In 1968 I visited Ottati a small mountain village outside Salerno and
    birthplace of my maternal grandmother.
    Here were dusty streets, donkeys being led by hand, ancient bones in
    hillside caves outside of town, and modern furniture and appliances
    liberally sprinkled among dwellings with animals living at street level.
    One of my sharpest memories is of a 77 year old woman, dressed in black
    since her husband died 50 years before, who had never left the village but
    spoke animatedly with my uncle for hours about life among the people of
    this, her world.
    Another was a Sunday dinner of homemade pasta and sauce , the familiar taste
    of which instantly carried me to my mother\’s table on Sunday in Queens.
    Blood type ragu indeed!

    Buona fortuna e cent’anni to you, Frankinello.

    Vincenzino

  • “Trip down memory lane”

    03.31.2009

    by Vincent Mariconda, Middle Village, NYC

    I attended the 2:00 pm performance on March 29 with Barbara (Rehm) McCabe. What a pleasurable trip down memory lane in the company of a gifted and hard working guide! Basta, here’s my story.

    In 1968 I visited Ottati a small mountain village outside Salerno and birthplace of my maternal grandmother. Here were dusty streets, donkeys being led by hand, ancient bones in hillside caves outside of town, and modern furniture and appliances liberally sprinkled among dwellings with animals living at street level. One of my sharpest memories is of a 77 year old woman, dressed in black since her husband died 50 years before, who had never left the village but spoke animatedly with my uncle for hours about life among the people of this, her world. Another was a Sunday dinner of homemade pasta and sauce , the familiar taste of which instantly carried me to my mother\’s table on Sunday in Queens. Blood type ragu indeed!

    Buona fortuna e cent’anni to you, Frankinello.

    Vincenzino

  • “Coneheads”

    03.30.2009

    by Betty Duffy, Bronx NY

    Frank, I just got home to the Bronx after seeing your show for the second time. I have seen one man and one women shows before but yours is fabulous, I am the daughter of Irish immigrants and I was raised a strict Irish Catholic during the fifties. I could only compare my family to The Coneheads on SNL,we just did not blend with the rest of neighborhood.We were probably the only family I knew that would leave Santa a can of Reingold beer and a shot of Irish whiskey on Xmas Eve.I thought this was normal until I told a nun in school and she almost knocked my teeth out.Well anyway I have a lot of stories like yours but with many Irish accents.Please keep me informed of your next project or if you ever know anyone that needs help writing a similar Irish version.Thank-you again for sharing your GREAT TALENT. Your play was funny and at times struck a cord in me that only the children of Immigrants could identify with. Take care,Betty (with the black fedora) that you spoke to after the show

  • “Eerie”

    by Morgan

    Hey man,

    It was my pleasure. I really loved the show. I saw so much of my grandmother in your mother, it was eerie sometimes. She is Jewish, not at all Italian but there are so many similarities in the culture. I could just hear her saying the Jewish equivalents of so many things your mother said in my head.

    I’ll be sure to let you know what’s going on.

  • “Italian through and through”

    03.26.2009

    by Loretta Mimmo

    Hi Frank! I saw your wonderful show last Sunday. I can’t tell you how
    much I enjoyed your performance. You touched my heart, you made me laugh
    and yes…you made me cry as well.

    Being Italian through and through (and my husband too!) can you even
    imagine how much of your show I could identify with? But the beauty of
    “Blood Type: Ragu” lies in it’s universality…you don’t have to be
    Italian to enjoy, understand and feel what you are saying here.

    I’m passing the word to everyone I know and hoping to have a “field
    trip” from Philadelphia and New Jersey with family and friends to see
    your show. Thank you SO MUCH for a wonderful time…even the tears were
    good. ;-)

  • “Sunflowers!”

    03.23.2009

    by Josephine

    Frank,
    It was such a pleasure meeting you as well! You made me laugh, and you made me bawl!!! I loved every second of your show! I can’t wait for my parents to come and see you! They are both from Palermo. We will definitely spread the word! Keep up the good work and best of luck always!!! Tanti auguri!

    P.S. I just wanted to let you know that I went to Sicily for 5 weeks with my mother right after I graduated college in 1993. One of my many uncles was driving us somewhere and I started to yell “Zio, fermi la macchina!”. He did and I jumped out of the car into a field of sunflowers!! I couldn’t believe my eyes! My mother grabbed the camera and to this day it is one of my favorite pictures! You now have an idea how much I related to your story! (and that’s only one little part, but my favorite)

  • “Old Country to American Independence”

    03.22.2009

    by Bill Saltarelli, Brooklyn NY

    I saw this show Thursday night. Frank puts on a great one man show! I cracked up when he does his mother: Frankala, put on the “Gloria” and mixes up the words in Italian to “I will survive”. It really hit home, too funny!

    I live in Eastern Long Island now and all these family “people” that I had in my life have all passed on. Its great to come to a show like this and see how the family evolves from being from the old country to American Independence.

  • “Hysterical”

    03.19.2009

    by Calandra Institute

    Frank Ingrasciotta’s play is awesome, hysterical!! we had a group of about six people went to see it last year when he performed this at a tiny little theater on 42nd street and we laughed so hard the whole night eyes-tearing, totally identifying with every little thing he recounted growing up with the same italian words, phrases, memories, stories, experiences, etc!!! his method of comedy and storytelling is purely right on! i’m emailing to everyone i know and going to go see it again…
    :-)

  • “Kudos”

    by Zaphra

    Dear Frank I am delighted at the reception your show has received but I am not surprised because the kudos are well deserved. Some of my friends who came last week loved it as much as I do., and they are not Italian. You don’t have to be Italian to love it the theme is universal BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO

Shared Stories

Blood Type: Ragu is a story about family.  We would like to hear your shared stories of family be it Italian or otherwise.  View submitted stories and submit your own by clicking on the below link. It’s not drama…it’s just family!  And we all have one.

Submit your story here.