‘Cooking with the Calamari Sisters’ to hit the Phoenix stage

Mangia Italiano!

Hilarity, delicious dishes and two over-the-top plus-size Italian sisters from Brooklyn, stars of their very own fictional cable television show, take audiences on a tour-de-force of Italian songs and cuisine as they sing (“Volare,” “Botcha – Me” and much more), dance, joke and laugh through a very special cooking lesson in “Cooking With the Calamari Sisters,” Dec. 28 through Jan. 29, 2017 at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe in Phoenix.

From left, Carmela (Stephen Smith) and Delphine (Jay Falzone) Calamari. (Photo courtesy The Calamari Sisters)

From left, Carmela (Stephen Smith) and Delphine (Jay Falzone) Calamari. (Photo courtesy The Calamari Sisters)

New York Newsday called Cooking with The Calamari Sisters “delightful and absolutely delicious.”

Straight from sold-out engagements across the country, Delphine and Carmela perform outrageous musical numbers while designing their latest culinary offerings. Don’t be surprised if they get a bit naughty when they update their treasured family recipes with saucy secrets and anecdotes.

Performances are 2 and 7 p.m. Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays;  2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 2 p.m. Sundays.  Tickets are $45-$65 (other fees may apply) and are available at www.herbergertheater.org or by calling (602) 252-8497. Group discounts are available by calling (888) 264-1788.

Delphine Calamari, played by Jay Falzone, was born in Bay Ridge, N.Y., the eldest daughter of Rocco and Vittoria Calamari. By age seven, she was assisting her grandmother cater every major event at the legendary Rigatoni Lodge of the Brooklyn Federation of Italian-American Societies.

Her love for meat began soon thereafter, and within a few years she was known throughout the borough as “that Italian girl that can tell you which butcher a sausage comes from with her eyes closed.”

By the time Delphine was a young woman, it was widely believed that unless you served Delphine’s meatballs at your wedding reception, your marriage would be doomed and you would never conceive a son to carry on your family name.

In addition to cooking, Delphine has always been interested in the arts, singing countless duets with her sister, Carmela, at St. Lawrence of the Roasted Martyrs Church and Convent. Their nativity of cold meats and dairy was always a huge crowd pleaser at Christmastime.

Carmela Calamari, played by Stephen Smith, is the lightest daughter of Rocco and Vittoria Calamari, weighing 15 pounds at birth. Carmela began turning heads with her cooking from a very young age, combining a lemonade stand with a kissing booth at the age of eight.

After being promptly shut down by her uncle, and several of her customers mysteriously disappearing, she turned her attention to more conventional outlets and began competing in the Bay Ridge pageant circuit. While qualified, Carmela was crowned Miss Salami of Bay Ridge, first runner-up Miss Wooden Spoon of Bay Ridge, and Miss Congeniality for Miss Stuck Pig of Bay Ridge; always wowing the crowd with some extraordinary new and unusual talent.

It was while competing for the famous Miss Macaroni of Greater Brooklyn when Carmela was allegedly caught feeding one of the judges minestrone soup out of her Gucci knock-off pump. Although never conclusively proven, she was disqualified from any and all future Italian pageants in all five boroughs.

Never one to accept defeat, Carmela dove into helping her sister, Delphine, and their grandmother cater events at the Rigatoni Lodge, becoming the fastest cake frost-er in all of Brooklyn. In addition, she became the darling of the St. Lady of the Divine Pain High School’s Drama Club, playing such roles as Effie in “Dreamgirls,” Eliza Doolittle in “My Fairy Lady,” and Mary in “The Secret Garden.”

When her sister, Delphine, suggested they start a singing-dancing-cooking business together, Carmela knew it was the perfect marriage of her two favorite things: cooking and performing, and so Calamari Sisters’ Catering Company was born.

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

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