The Materassi Sisters

By Elizabeth Brown-Kaiser (ISI Florence)

From February 14th to the 24th, the historical Teatro della Pergola welcomes The Materassi Sisters. This version of the comic play is adapted from the theatrical works of Ugo Chiti, the 1944 movie directed by Ferdinando Maria Poggioli, and the 1934 original novel written by Aldo Palazzeschi.

The Materassi Sisters tells the story of Teresa, Carolina, and Giselda who live together under one roof in the suburbs of Florence. Teresa and Carolina work as embroiders who often pass their days reflecting on what a married-with-children life would be like. Their younger sister, Giselda, lives cynically, droning on about the evils associated with love and men after enduring a failed marriage. Giselda nevertheless, retains her wit as the tale progresses.

Following the death of their fourth sister in Ancona, the Materassis’ nephew, Remo, arrives at their doorsteps only to turn their world upside down. A motif for sexuality, passion, and lust, the young and charming Remo persuades his pushover aunts Teresa and Carolina to sacrifice their familial inheritance for his benefit. Giselda catches on to Remo’s plan and tries to warn her sisters. Carolina and Teresa however, remain hypnotized by their nephew’s charisma.

The Materassi Sisters is a clever work of satire and irony. The comedy touches on serious topics such as divorce, societal pressures for women to have a family, and financial stresses all with a unique spin that generates pure humor.

Under Geppy Gleijeses’ direction, the three sisters played by Lucia Poli, Milena Vukotic, Marilù Prati consistently fill the theater with laughter for the entirety of the 1.5 hour-long play.

Applauded at Teatro della Pergola for the first time in April of 1989, The Materassi Sisters remains a hit. Show times begin at 8:45 pm and regular-priced tickets range from 18 to 34 euro.

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