Indeed, it has taken Mambo Italiano 19 years to make it to the Westchester Broadway Theatre.
When the play originally premiered at Montreal’s Théâtre Jean-Duceppe in February 2000, it was translated into French by none other than Quebec literary icon Michel Tremblay.
Mambo broke box-office records at both Duceppe and the English-language Centaur Theatre Company in Old Montreal before a hugely successful six-week run at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto in 2003. The play has since been mounted by theatre companies around the world.
The comedy-drama tells the story of two Italian young men who fall in love, except one isn’t ready to come out to his family. Hilarity ensues.
As Cheever and Polum adapted Mambo, Polum kept Galluccio in the loop. “They made changes to the story,” Galluccio explains. “They’d call me up and ask, ‘What do you think of this? What do you think of that?’ And I’d always basically say, ‘This is a whole other beast, this is an American musical destined for Broadway. You know best.’ So everything is cool with me.”
Galluccio adds, “If this musical adaptation works, it is likely headed for Broadway. I still say even if I am on Broadway for just one night, I’d be really happy just to see Mambo Italiano The Musical on a marquee on the Great White Way. I am now only 40 minutes away from Manhattan, so I’m getting closer!”