All posts by Tony Vellela

Labor Days – a Play That Needs Your Help

It’s not a topic that gets brought up, or talked about very often, or even very openly. It may have something to do with not wanting to look overly “sensitive”, or easily offended, or even critical. But I can guarantee you that, at some time in the lives and experiences of those of us who come from an Italian-American heritage, we find ourselves more than a little bothered.

When is it? What causes this kind of reaction? It’s the way someone from our family background gets depicted in popular culture – be it in feature films, or on television, or as material in a stand-up comedy routine that’s a sure-fire laugh-getter. The men associated with any of these situations are certain to be wearing gaudy gold chains, with a strong chance they’ve got a gun tucked out of sight. The women will likely have teased hair two feet high, provocative apparel and layers of make-up. And their language is liberally sprinkled with obscenities. That’s how the “general public” sees Italian-Americans.
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