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    “First Generation Sicilian American”

  • April 20, 2009 ~ 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