Whad-up Brooklyn! One of the most well-known boroughs in New York City has been the inspiration for many. Hip-hop, P Diddy’s reality show “Making the Band” and the home of Junior’s restaurant with a well-earned reputation of having the best cheesecake in the world. But the area has more to offer. Enter Chiara Montalto. A proud Italian-American actress/playwright who takes the audience back to early 2000s in Benson Hurst, Brooklyn where she served as a caregiver to her aging grandfather Andrew.
What does a young beautiful woman in her early 20s know how to care for an octogenarian? The two have always been close. She considers caring for her grandfather a blessing. She portrays Andrew with a biting sense of humor, while hunched over relying on his cane for support. In return he provides his grand-daughter with some valuable advice to live longer, “The secret to a long life is changing the underwear.” It can’t hurt, right? Montalto recalled that Andrew was once six feet and shrunk to 5’5” over the years. She recalls a kitchen fire Andrew accidentally set and she had to put it out. He kept busy by attending regular senior meetings at nearby churches and spoke to a lot of widows. Montalto prepared a birthday surprise for her beloved uncle with her friends; own his friends, in attendance. Keeping her in the dark, Andrew left a semi-will on expressing his detailed funeral instructions and other financial matters. Montalto is finding all of this ridiculous, but, she complies. After all, he is pops.
Montalto goes beyond writing and performing a profound story about a beloved relative. She gives it heart, passion and lots of love. It is easy to see in her that Andrew felt the same way. He worried that his well-educated, beautiful grand-daughter will miss out on love. Once again, Montalto is a few steps ahead. She briefly mentions about her date with 22 year-old Vinny and her attorney Richard, who she fondly calls him the “Lone Ranger.”
Montalto does an excellent job beautifully expressing a tale about the proud effect a grandfather and granddaughter have on each other. One’s life will end and the other will begin.
A Brooklyn Love Story ends this weekend, plays Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday 7 p.m. until Sunday, October 6 Theatre 68 located at 5419 W. Sunset in Los Angeles. For ticket information call (323) 960-5068 or reserve online at www.theatre68.com