By now, everyone knows about the success of Giulia Melucci’s book, “I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti” and its newer success as a play, courtesy of Connecticut playwright Jacques Lamarre and director Rob Ruggiero over at TheatreWorks. It is so successful at the Hartford theater that its run has been extended to July 14 .
But let’s face it. There also had to be some good marketing when it came to advertising that baby and who else but publicist extraordinaire Lamarre (his day job is at Mark Twain House) would come up with a way to make sure everyone knew about the production. And that meant posters featuring props to get the message across.
No fancy models or slick New York agency necessary.
Enter Rosemary Aiello and her “girls” and the infamous brimming cups that became the backdrop to the bowl of pasta.
” I met Jacques a couple of years back when I was chair of a HYPE event,” she said, beginning the saga of how her, uh, meatballs, ended up as theater poster stars. “A couple of months ago, he asked me if I had a red or black dress, explaining they needed someone who is Italian with a lot of boobage,” said Aiello, whose family owns a popular Hartford South End catering company. “I loved the concept even though it sounded ridiculous.”
So she turned herself over, boobage and all to Lamarre, Ruggiero, graphic artist Dennis Russo and photographer Lanny Nagler. And then it got interesting.
“I was essentially a lump of clay to get just the right cleavage shot,” she said. Noting she added her own “Italian” touches including her signature smirk and the quintessential gold chain and cross, everyone else was focused on something else.
“I had a bra on to give me the extra lift in the all the right places and Rob pretty much manhandled me to get the girls in the right place,” she continued. “And then they would try to take the shot really quick before it all fell down again.”
Fifty-some shots later, the perfect picture was had and the rest as they say, is history.
“It really is kind of an honor,” said the psychologist and educator who has one of the posters, signed by show star Antoinette LaVecchia and Melucci, hanging in her house and now uses the poster picture as her Facebook banner. “I was an ugly duckling as a kid and never would have guessed I would be doing something like this!”
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