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The Coffee Shop (La Bottega del Caffe) / Edition 1

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Overview

Anyone for Venice? Yes, lots of people actually: pilgrims, con artists, gamblers, phonies, policemen, waiters, businessmen - all caught up in the Carnival, dropping in at the coffee shop for a cuppa, for java was big in 1750. You'd think you were at a Starbucks! Goldoni's single set for this comedy from his golden middle period is a quiet piazzetta he knew well where a little coffee shop, a gambling den, a barber shop, and an inn keep the action hopping.
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Editorial Reviews

Carolyn M. Mulac
Dubbed "Italy’s Moliere" by none other than Voltaire, Goldoni (1707-93) is regarded as the father of Italian comedy. Until now, anyone looking for an English translation of his La Bottega del Caffe has only one choice, a 1925 translation by Henry B. Fuller. Now there are two new choices, each with unique qualities to recommend them. Cornthwaite’s translation is like espresso: pungent, distinctive, with a bit of an edge. Parzen’s is more like cappuccino: sharing the strong base, but with the added ingredient of the original Italian on the facing page. Parzen’s version tends to be more literary and is better suited for reading than playing. Drama collections, then, may prefer Cornthwaite’s acting version, while language and literature collections might opt for Parzen’s traditional and bilingual version.
(Chicago Public Library)
Jack Helbig
Goldoni was one of the most prolific and influential eighteenth-century playwrights, and his reforms of Italian comedy still influence contemporary practice. As Robert Cornthwaite notes in the foreword to his new version of "La Bottega del Caffe", Goldoni was interested in creating warts-and-all realistic, believable characters. This innovative notion scandalized his critics, who found him profane, but it also freed comedy from the increasingly tiresome stock characters of commedia dell'arte. To modern-day American sensibilities, "The Coffee Shop" is not particularly funny, even in this fine, if occasionally academically stiff, version. The comic moments elicit smiles, not guffaws, and the belabored double entendres, not even smiles. Yet Goldoni's fascinating, four-dimensional characters and utterly convincing comic plots, free of the outlandish coincidences that mar so many comedies, make the play delightful reading and us glad that the man responsible for last year's witty and graceful Englishing of the trilogy "Villeggiatura" has translated yet another Goldoni comedy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575250045
  • Publisher: Smith & Kraus, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Series: Great Translations for Actors Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 5.27 (w) x 8.39 (h) x 0.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Cornthwaite has worked for many years as an actor in radio, theater, films, and television. Occasionally he directs a play, or writes one, or translates one from languages he learned in school or from travel - French, German, and Italian. These are always plays he likes for their liveliness, their humor, their ideas, and-yes-their sheer theatricality.
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Table of Contents

Comedy in 3 Acts
Men: 7
Women: 3
Extras: Constables, Waiters, The Barber's Apprentice (speaking), A Waiter at the Inn (speaking), Chief Constable (speaking)
Sets: 1
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