When actors tell one another to “break a leg” before a show, they don’t really want them to have broken bones; it’s an ancient theater superstition, a way of saying “good luck” without actually saying it for fear of evil spirits causing the performance to suffer.
However, when mobsters – especially theatrical mobsters – talk about “breaking a leg,” they mean it word for word.
Mix theater and mafia together and you get the Tom Dulack comedy “Breaking Legs” that opens at Carrollwood Players Theatre Friday, April 17, with 11 performances.
“This show is an equal opportunity offender, but it also happens to be very, very funny,” said director Robin New. “Everything is done in jest. If you want to come see a take-off on ‘Good Fellas’ and Robert De Niro movies, this is the perfect vehicle. You’ll laugh, you’ll see romance, and it’s PG-13.”
“Breaking Legs” features a six member cast of Jim Moss as Terence O’Keefe, Dale Noss as Frankie Salvucci, Rob Lecuyer as Mike Francesco, Edward Webber as Tino De Felice, Thomas Pahl as Lou Graziano, and Jennifer Hall as Angie Graziano.
Set in the back room of an Italian restaurant, Moss plays a professor and a sheltered playwright who seeks investors for a play about crime. Jennifer plays his former lovesick student who runs the restaurant owned by her father, played by Thomas. Thomas’ character just happens to be part of the local mafia – and they are highly interested in financing his play.
Of course they ask for something in return and it involves his ex-student, still smitten, strong-willed Angie. Angie is smart, funny, tough, and tender all together in one beautiful package.
“With Angie, I unleash all of my energy and I love how she brings out the sexiness in me,” Hall said. “I get to explore my independent, fiery spirit and playing Angie releases the real woman in me. Robin (New) brings me out of my comfort zone and this role allows me to grow as an actress.”
In the midst of the play, Moss’ character learns that “breaking a leg” has nothing to do with theater.
“It’s a play that has fun poking fun at stereotypes,” said co-producer Deb Kelley. “It’s fresh and funny from start to finish.”
Breaking Legs runs April 17 – May 2. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $20, $17 for students, seniors and military. Call Carrollwood Players box office at (813) 265-4000 or reserve your seats online at www.carrollwoodplayers.org.