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Italian immigrants and an unruly ungulate in STC's latest comedy

Italian comedy "Moose on the Loose" opens Feb. 16

The Sudbury Theatre Centre's latest mainstage production contains some wild gesturing, a candy-striped living room, and a big pair of atlers. 

"Moose on the Loose", by Thunder Bay's Dina Morrone, takes the stage beginning Feb. 16. STC calls the play an hilarious and heartwarming portrayal of Italian immigrants transplanted into Northern Ontario.

"Full of frenzy and uproar as any family can relate to, audiences will connect to the myriad of characters, stories and relationships," STC said in a media release. "A story about a family in a mini-crisis, exacerbated by old Italian customs, language misunderstandings and cultural differences will have the audience giggling for most of the show."

Morrone, now living and working in Los Angeles, based her script on true events. "Moose on the Loose" follows three generations of an Italian immigrant family who live in the fictional Northern Ontario town Way Up Bay.

The Tappino family left the warmth of the southern Mediterranean coast in the early 1960s with no idea of where they were actually headed, except that it was somewhere in North America. They arrived in bush country north of the icy cold shores of Lake Superior. 

When a moose wanders into town, the family soon realizes the it's not the only one that's displaced and confused.

"This is a very funny comedy with some very tender and heartfelt moments," said Caleb Marshall, the company's artistic executive director. "With a cast hailing predominantly from Northern Ontario, this play is a testament to the talent cultivated in the north." 

Some may recognize familiar faces on the stage from previous STC comedies. Sandra Batagglini, Phil Luzzi, Tracey Beltrano and Steven Pigozzo were all last seen together in "In Piazza San Domenico".

Attending the world premiere in Los Angeles, comedy legend Mel Brooks wrote, "I cannot tell a lie...'Moose on the Loose' is really funny and surprisingly moving."

Regular tickets are $36 for adults, $32 for seniors, $22 for those under 30, and $12 for students. Tickets are $45 for the Opening Night Director's Circle on Feb. 16, featuring a pre-show chat with members of the creative team and a post-show reception and on-stage tour of the set with the full company. The production runs until March 5.

Tickets are available at the DiBrina Box Office in-person at 170 Shaughnessy Street in Downtown Sudbury, by calling 705-674- 8381, or online at SudburyTheatre.ca.