At 22, Andrew Iacovelli Gets ’Role of a Lifetime’
2nd Story Theatre's season of award-winning works continues with "Amadeus," British playwright Peter Shaffer's compelling, fictionalized account of a lesser-known 18th century composer's mission to discredit the young musical prodigy who would come to be known as Mozart. The show opened in previews last month and has been so well-received by critics and audiences that its run has been extended until Feb. 24.
"Amadeus" premiered on Broadway in 1980 and won five Tony Awards, including Best Play. Shaffer won an Oscar for his screenplay of the 1984 film adaptation, which was also named Best Picture of that year.
Directed by Pat Hegnauer, "Amadeus" features 2nd Story Artistic Director Ed Shea, gracing the stage for the second time this season, as Antonio Salieri, the late 18th century Italian composer who rose to fame in Vienna, then was ruled by the music loving Emperor Joseph II (John Michael Richardson).
Near death, the anguished Salieri addresses the audience and takes personal responsibility for wreaking havoc upon the life-and ultimately causing the death-of his creative counterpart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Andrew Iacovelli).
"For any actor my age, (Mozart) is the role of a lifetime," Iacovelli told EDGE.
"I’ve loved this play since high school. "It’s such a great play and a great story," Iacovelli said.
The 22 year-old actor is familiar to 2nd Story audiences from his roles in "Lost in Yonkers" and "Speech and Debate."
Playing Mozart is one of the more challenging roles Iacovelli has taken on.
"It’s quite an arc. (Mozart) starts off very childlike and very energetic; then toward the end of the play he basically loses his mind," Iacovelli said.
Iacovelli engaged in extensive research for the role by studying who Mozart was a person.
"I tried to separate myself from the movie as much as I could because I didn’t want to do what had already been done," Iacovelli explained.
Iacovelli has a lot of respect for his co-star, Ed Shea: "He’s such a seasoned veteran and he’s devoted his whole life to the theatre so I’ve learned a lot and it’s been a great experience."
Iacovelli enjoys theatre and the opportunity to connect with an audience while he’s on stage.
2nd Story Theater has been a pleasurable place to be for him.
"The way they tackle the storytelling aspect of acting is really something I haven’t found anywhere else," Iacovelli said. "It’s a great group of people. It’s a family feeling. I just like being there."
"Amadeus" continues through Feb. 24 at the 2nd Story Theatre, 28 Market Street, Warren, Rhode Island Performances: Thursdays at 7:00 PM, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM, and Sundays at 3:00 PM. Reservations strongly recommended. Some performances are sold out. For more info, visit the 2nd Story Theatre website.