Friday, November 16, 2007

So What Did You Think of Annie?

Friday, November 16, 2007

I met Annie Lanzillotto in Denver a few weeks ago at the AIHA Conference- the American Italian Historical Association. Like Robert DiNero, Al Pacino, Jake La Motta and Anne Bancroft (who grew up on her block), she's a pure child of the Italian-American Bronx. Raw and red-blooded, Annie has the courage and the heart of a lion. And she looks like one too. She wears a long tan leather coat and an Artful Dodger hat. She sometimes goes by the name of Rachele Coraggio. She even had a dream recently in which her father appeared to her and told her that the 'L' in Lanzillotto is for 'lion."

She was sitting in the front row, her big frame slouched in the seat right in front of me, at one of the panels. Then when she got up, turned around and started performing her monologues with names like " The Abandoned Lasagne," "Saving My Grandmother's Leg," "How to Cook a Heart," and " The Iceman Cometh," I knew right away that here was my blood sister, my grandmother, Commara Celestina, my mother, and my brother Stephen all rolled into one. Annie's tongue is bathed in red wine; her heart is full of Barese viagra, and she has the sweet smug smile of a lioness. She's pure gold. I love her.

Now, tell me. Because I need to know. Do you love her too? If you didn't hear the Food Friday program today, listen tonight at 9:00, or listen to the archived program when it gets posted in a few days. I need to know!

Thanks,
Jean

4 comments:

BigLars said...

I only got to hear about 20 minutes on the way home from work and LOVED it! Boy, can that woman talk!! I can't wait for the podcast to be available so I can hear the whole thing. Thank you for introducing us to Annie and please have her back as soon as you can!

Anonymous said...

I was supposed to be running errands, but remained in my car for 15-20 minutes, captivated by the way Annie paints pictures with words. I felt like I was getting to know the real Annie, and her sincerity and honesty lent strength to her story. I'd love to hear more of her work!

Anonymous said...

I was setting my alarm for bed and of course it is tuned to WPR, when I heard the last 30 minutes of your interview with Annie. I absolutely loved it! I was sorry I didn't hear the whole thing. I have already told friends about her and checked out her website. Thanks Jean.

Anonymous said...

Ann Lanzillotto grew up in Yonkers, New York and went St. Eugene's Grade School on Tuckahoe Road in Yonkers...I was 2 grades behind her and she was in my brother's class. What is all this about her growing up in the Bronx?