“I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti,” one of the biggest hits in the history of TheaterWorks Hartford, is getting a sequel, premiering this summer.
“Secondo: The Sequel to ‘I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti’” will have the same star, playwright and director as the first show, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Like the original, “Secondo” will be a one-person show and feature the onstage preparation of Italian food.
“Secondo” will once again star Antoinette LaVecchia as Giulia, whose love of cooking as a single woman not only helped her with her romantic relationships but also with her break ups.
“On the eve of her 10th wedding anniversary, we’re back together to discover how married life has provided unexpected delights and challenges While Giulia rushes to prepare her anniversary dinner, a boyfriend from the past has resurfaced to complicate her recipe for a happy marriage,” reads the preview.
“[LaVecchia] is coming back, Giulia and Jacques are co-writing,” said Rob Ruggiero, TheaterWorks Hartford’s producing artistic director. “We even have the same poster artist. We want to get people back with joy and humor, to get reacquainted with the theater.”
“I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti” was a signal achievement for Ruggiero shortly after he was made interim artistic director of TheaterWorks in 2011. The theater had undergone a tricky leadership transition and had some financial difficulties. The show’s run was extended, and its success helped stabilize the company and raise morale. It was also praised for its creativity. In the course of the show, a pasta dinner was prepared and served to members of the audience. The play went on to have success at other theaters. Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury has done it twice.
LaVecchia has performed in New York and at regional theaters for the decade since she was last at TheaterWorks, including several other productions of “I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti.” This past fall, she played Essie Miller in Eugene O’Neill’s “Ah, Wilderness!” at Hartford Stage.
LaVecchia grew up in Connecticut and worked with Ruggiero previously when the opportunity for “I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti” came up. The director said LaVecchia was always his first choice for the role of Giulia.
The “Secondo” script is credited to Jacques Lamarre, based on the stories of Giulia Melucci. Melucci wrote the book on which the first play was based. She was born and raised in Brooklyn and had a long career in publishing. Lamarre is a well-known local playwright whose other collaborations with TheaterWorks include another cooking-themed play, “Raging Skillet,” as well as two scenes in the holiday staple “Christmas on the Rocks.”
“Secondo” isn’t the only one-person show Lamarre has coming to TheaterWorks Hartford this summer. He co-wrote the new Varla Jean Merman show “Little Prick,” which will have two performances on June 11.
“Secondo: The Sequel to ‘I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti’” will run July 29 through Aug. 28 at TheaterWorks Hartford, 233 Pearl St.. There will be performances Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets will cost $25 to $65. Current TheaterWorks subscribers get a three-day head start on buying tickets, starting May 25 at 10 a.m. Tickets go on sale to the general public May 28 at noon.
TheaterWorks Hartford will announce its 2022-23 season later this month.
Christopher Arnott can be reached at email@example.com.