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FGCU Invites Public, Media to Attend 'Excerpts of a Prince Named TotÚ' Celebrating Italian Comic Genius Antonio de Curtis
3/6/2006

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University invites the public and media to attend "Excerpts of a Prince Named TotÚ," a world exhibition about the life and career of actor, composer and writer Antonio de Curtis, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 14, and 8 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, March 15 in the Student Union.

TotÚ was one of Italy's most famous screen personalities and considered a comic genius.

The exhibit is comprised of more than 50 documents from the private archives of the de Curtis family such as film posters, manuscripts and personal photographs, and includes a screening of the documentary "You Don't Know Who TotÚ Is?"

Exhibit curator Laura Caparrotti will conduct presentations on the life and performances of Toto during the show at FGCU.

The FGCU Office of International Services, FGCU Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Italian Cultural Society of Naples and Kairos Italy Theater organized the event.

TotÚ was born in a poor and popular sector of Napoli where he began his career in small theaters acting plots based in the Commedia dell'arte tradition. He later moved to Rome where he had his first appearances in bigger theaters. In the 1930s he started his own companies, alone and together with many artists. His hit shows were sometimes avanspettacolo - music, ballet and comic sketches - and sometimes rivista, more similar to American revues.

TotÚ made his first movie "Fermo con le mani" (Hands Off) in 1937 and would later become a living legend among his audience for making about 100 more films although he was largely ignored by Italian critics and cineastes. He worked with many great directors including Mario Monicelli, Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Eduardo De Filippo and Pier Paolo Pasolini, and actors Sophia Loren, Ben Gazzara, Orson Welles, Vittorio De Sica, Anna Magnani, Vittorio Gassman, Marcello Mastroianni, and Fernandel.
     In his entire life, TotÚ wrote more than 30 poems and composed more than 40 songs, many of them sung by popular Italian singers. With the exceptions of the song "Malafemmena" and the poem "A Livella," the poetry and the music of TotÚ is less known.
     For more information, media representatives should contact coordinator of International Services Timonty Gjini at (239) 590-7925 or tgjini@fgcu.edu.

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