pure poetry between laughter and music in the unrivaled popular success of A me gli occhi

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Gigi Proietti leaves us at the age of 80, while our memory returns to his immense theatrical show To me eyes, Please.

Who was born in the 70s, when he discovered it, fifteen years later could not help but consume the videotape of the theatrical show To me the eyes. On that stage Gigi Proietti he disassembled the actor’s work by reassembling his sketch figure in sketch, in which the contents were plasticine in his hands, in his voice or in his “gestic baggage”. The interpretation was queen, the texts were subjects to his court.

“To be or not to be, that’s the problem,” he repeated, taking the side of the audience in not understanding Shakespeare’s archaic phrasebook. Yes, because To me the eyes was the spectacle that, if there was a social class to which he did not look, it was the high one, that of the historic city theaters. He entered the scene with a chest on his shoulders singing I never forget of Ettore Petrolini, a tribute to the tradition of the Roman folk song, then sat on the actor’s trunk and recited the first lines:

The Lords don’t know me
Too bad for them
I know everyone, I give everything, I do everything
I am like the news
I can write, sew, travel, verse
Enter, exit, exit, enter
Enter, exit
And continue like this.
Me with the chemical branch
I invented the legume gas
Which is a gas
Obtained by chewing legumes
And turning it on from behind
Gives better light than quartz lamp

Pure poetry in which vulgarity takes up the etymology that belongs to it, addressing the vulgar, or rather the people. 1976 was the year of the debut of To me the eyes, first in Sulmona in Abruzzo, then at the Teatro Tenda in Rome where it arrived in place of another canceled show. Those were the years of lead and leaving the house was not a reassuring activity, yet the desire for escape and the innovative and experimental connotation of the staging, will bring To me the eyes (to which he was later added Please) to remain on the bill for three years. A unique success in the history of the 20th century stage.

Together with some musicians and a trunk as only a scenographic element, Gigi Proietti he made self-mockery of the profession of artist who holds the bench, while at the same time respecting the symbiotic relationship with the public. “Life is dear” he recited on stage in the most memorable of phone calls, “puts the VAT … the grape … the egg”, but “art helps to live better” he always said with his broad and contagious smile. Project he left leaving us his artistic trunk as a gift, in which we can go back to rummage when we need to find our smile and try to live better.


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