By: Anne M. Raso
The Italian Chicks is a two-hour casino style show that blends comedy, acting, dancing, music, and song. Describing their performance as "part meatball, part cannoli", The Italian Chicks are "Leader of the Pack" Maryann "Boom Boom" Maisano, Mary Dimino, Carolann Valentino, and Gina Scarda. All of the ladies are comedy veterans and actresses, and Dimino even has the distinction of having won the 2008 Gracie Allen Award for her work in the PBS film Fat: What No One Is Telling You. But probably the most interesting piece of trivia on The Italian Chicks is that the show's MC, Gina Scarda, decided to become a stand-up comedian after retiring from the New York Police Department (so it comes as no surprise that she describes the pitfalls of having to pose as a decoy prostitute in her former occupation)!
The Chicks' sold-out debut show at New York's Laugh Factory in January 2008 was standing-room only, and they have been entertaining audiences together up and down the East Coast ever since. We wanted to check out the phenomenon for ourselves, and we were lucky enough to catch the act at the Bicycle Club in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, last Friday night. It would be an understatement if we said the show was a ladies' laughfest because the guys in the audience were rolling with laughter under the tables in an even heartier manner. When comedienne Mary Dimino asked members of the audience to raise their hands if they were Italian, everyone but three people raised theirs...apparently, you don't have to be Italian to apreciate ballsy observational humor based on dating and daily life experiences. Yes, there was a little man-bashing and more than a little commentary on Italian traditions--we loved Mary Ann's commentary on Italian bowtie cookies and how the powdery residue was once confused for cocaine when she was pulled over by a cop on a NJ highway!
[Photos: Maryann Maisano]