Here are two videos of the end of TuttoDante show in San Francisco (May 26, 2009):
“It was a wonderful evening, very moving and very friendly, because in my upbringing, we can joke about everything, but not about poetry” Benigni said of his American premiere in San Francisco.
Review: Roberto Benigni’s ‘TuttoDante’ – Robert Hurwitt, Chronicle Theater Critic
He didn’t leap through the audience, but Roberto Benigni hit the Davies Symphony Hall stage Tuesday with the same unbridled exuberance with which he’d received his “Life Is Beautiful” Oscar 10 years ago. The sold-out house cheered as he ran Olympic laps, bounced off the wall and greeted the house with, “Buona sera! I hope everybody speaks English.”
Then he got a bit carried away. “This is a flabbergasting moment,” Benigni continued. “I feel like to undress myself and to jump on you.”
An extra dose of ebullience would be understandable, even if it’s just Benigni’s standard operating mode. Tuesday marked his North American stage debut performing his solo “TuttoDante,” a runaway hit in Italy. A celebration and appreciation of his fellow Tuscan and the “Divine Comedy,” “Dante” moves on from its one-night stand here to New York (Saturday), followed by two nights in Montreal and two more gigs before closing June 12 in Chicago.
It isn’t actually all Dante, the title notwithstanding, but it is mostly in English, albeit fractured. It’s also very funny, oddly didactic, idiosyncratic, overlong (two hours and 10 minutes, without intermission), somewhat wearying and unexpectedly sublime.
Benigni opens the show in stand-up mode, riffing about his poor command of English (“I don’t understand myself what I am saying“), Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, American bathrooms, Florentine sewage, God’s errors (“He put dawn too early in the morning“) and the show itself (“like Jim Carrey in Rome doing a show about Walt Whitman – in Italian“). [...]