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La Bella Figura by Frank Dangelico, Roz Pappalardo and Kathryn Ash

A JUTE Theatre Company production in association with Salthouse, La Pizza and Total Food Network

15 October - 23 October 2021


La Bella Figura (meaning, the beautiful image) is a new musical dramedy by second-generation, Italian-Aussies Frank Dangelico and Roz Pappalardo, and local playwright Kathryn Ash. Get ready to jump into the world of  ‘la bella figura’ weaving its often-hilarious magic into the lives and careers of the children of Italian migrants.

Directed by JUTE’s Artistic Director, Suellen Maunder, herself a fourth generation Italian, with set design by Simona Cosentini and Simone Tesorieri, our resident Italian-Australian first-generation migrants, the play unpacks the complexities of being an Italian-Australian; steeped in the fading family legends of immigration, driven by family expectation to do well, and feeling challenged between the notion they have ‘made it’ into mainstream Aussie culture and the need to keep that which is precious and meaningful about their heritage.

According to Roz and Frank, ‘la bella figura’ makes its presence known in all manner of ways, but is essentially about pride in family and pride in heritage which sometimes means ‘keeping up appearances’ and being conscious of ‘how things look’.

La Bella Figura is an authentic theatre experience, filled with warmth, comedy and deeply moving moments. It will have you going from toe-tapping original songs by local composer Rubina Kimiia, to fighting back tears over the poignant storytelling.

Featuring: Roz Pappalardo and Frank Dangelico
Director: Suellen Maunder
Composer/Choir Master/Music Director: Rubina Kimiia
Costume and Set Designer: Simona Cosentini
Set Designer: Simone Tesorieri
Lighting Designer: Jason Glenwright
Sound Designer: Guy Webster
Projection Designer: Nathan Sibthorpe

For more information on all cast and creatives, click here

A selection of media coverage with background stories and interviews:

Tropic Now: Italian Australian community asked to submit family photos for new theatre production (as used in set design)

Tropic Now: Cairns theatre production to feature Italian migration to the Far North (about the production, cast and story line)

Cairns Local News (p.15):  Frank sings from his heart in community chorus (about community chorus and what concept of La Bella Figura means to chorus member Frank Lanza) 

SBS Radio (Italian): Interview with Frank Dangelico about the story and the background of the play. 

ABC Far North: Breakfast
1 September (about 15 minutes in) chat with Frank Lanza about the concept of La Bella Figura and his role in the chorus
6 October (about 48 minutes in) chat with Roz Pappalardo about how the production came about and role of music in the production.
13 October (about 11 minutes in) chat with Roz Pappalardo and Suellen Maunder
14 October (about 46 minutes in) a chat with Rubina Kimiia about her involvement as composer, choir master and musical director. 

Cairns 89.1FM: Interview with director Suellen Maunder about what it’s been like to direct this production, working with Italians and JUTE’s investment in telling local stories. 

Promotional Images

Production Images

"Live" Production Images


This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.