Ten years ago, poet Maurizio Cucchi wrote for Italian newspaper “Corriere della Sera” an article that read, “As I reach Piazza Beccaria […] my eyes inevitably land on that beautiful surrendered building, blind and dumb, right in front; and more importantly on the words above that have been useless for so long, but never enough for me to grow used to it: Teatro Gerolamo.”
The beautiful, small theater in Milan – which someone calls “little Scala” – had closed in 1983 due to safety issues. Its story had begun over a century earlier, in 1868 to be precise: in the hundred years between inauguration and Cucchi’s sad observation, countless actors and marionettes had performed here, with shows so successful the theater became one of Milan’s favorite venues.
Actors from Palmira Telamoni’s and Cesare Poiani’s troupes treaded these boards, as well as the wooden puppets brought to life by the Zane, Campogalliano, and Croce families. The famous Carlo Colla & Figli company was hugely successful in managing the theater between 1911 and 1957.
Between 1958 and 1983, the Gerolamo welcomed actors and artists that made the history of Italian theater: Eduardo De Filippo, Franca Valeri, Tino Buazzelli, Paolo Poli, Giorgio Gaber, Enzo Jannacci, Domenico Modugno, Juliette Gréco, Paola Borboni, Dario Fo and Franca Rame.
And this year, we are happy to say, the Gerolamo Theater has reopened – and we are sure Maurizio Cucchi will join us in celebrating the event.
Photos via: ©www.teatrogerolamo.it, ©Laura Fantacuzzi e Maxime Galati-Fourcade