Aiello’s Controlled Chaos Steals the Show

Even if you’ve seen Danny Aiello on the big screen before, you’ve never seen him quite like this.

The Hollywood veteran stars in Susan Charlotte’s “The Shoemaker,” a play full of entertainment, from start to finish. Throughout the performance, Aiello displays his talent with both his bursts of anger and charismatic personality. Ultimately, his charm and wit is what puts this play over the top.

In the end, it’s a great success.

This play focuses on a shoemaker [Aiello], who was sent to America by his father in the late 1930s, the same time that Italy aligned itself with Nazi Germany. “The Shoemaker” takes place in a shoe shop {Where Aiello’s character also lives] in New York City on 9/11. On this dark day he confronts his past, present, and uncertain future.

The play opens up with the shoemaker in his shop as he listens to opera on his radio. He is interrupted by a woman named Hilary [Alma Cuervo], a Columbia Film teacher, who needs to get the soul on her shoe fixed. However, her real purpose
is to get the shoemaker to talk about a different customer, Louise [Lucy DeVito], an investment banker who may have died in the terrorist attack, as well as his estranged relationship with his daughter.

The rest of the performance is essentially the witnessing of the tremendous inner struggle within the shoemaker. This is where the pieces are put together and we finally find out the purpose of it all and the impact it leaves. Intense and thought-provoking throughout, Aiello is able to captivate and allow the audience inside his character’s tired and confused soul.

Through this remarkable performance, it’s obvious that this is a play that belongs on an even grander stage an is a testament to the quality of Off-Broadway Theatre in New York City. Everything was just so wonderfully put together. Aiello is at his best and proves why he is one of the most underrated actors of our time. Cuervo and DeVito are both angelic and display their talents with elegance and charm. At the same time, “The Shoemaker” draws many laughs, while it also captures its serious moments that will leave you focused and alert. Aiello’s temper and calm ways do steal the show, as he has a comforting impact and makes you feel right at home while you watch him work.

Overall, “The Shoemaker” was worth the watch, not only for Aiello, but for the setting and fantastic story.

About Nick Valente 287 Articles
At the site, I'm a music, television and graphic novel kind of guy and that's what I'll be writing for the most part. Expect some book and music reviews as well though [insert demon horns here]. I grew up in Bensonhurst Brooklyn, the same neighborhood many of the best mafia films of our day were based on, idolizing guys like Robert Deniro, Martin Scorsese and Al Pacino. I'm also a big sports fan and follow the New York Yankees immensely.

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