A moving immigrant story presented every two years, La Giara is performed in two acts by a cast of 5 singers/actors with an Italian/Brazilian/Jazz ensemble. The show is enhanced by video projection and evocative shadow puppetry, and has sold out every time with standing ovations.
Based on the eponymous book by Patricia King Haddad, La Giara is a true Philadelphia story of the composer’s family’s emigration from Sicily. La Giara is about longing for our past and for the cultures from which we originate. Dramatic and comedic songs express themes relevant to gender oppression and cultural losses that many immigrant families experience while adapting to a new world. What makes La Giara a particularly compelling work is that it is both personal and universal.
Composer, pianist, vocalist, recording artist and author Patricia King Haddad, from the Brazilian ensemble Minas, draws from her musical worlds where Jazz, Brazilian, and Italian styles merge with compositions that evoke melodies of Puccini, lyrics of Gilbert and Sullivan, the drive of Brazilian rhythms, swing of ragtime, and memorable songs of Musical Theater, creating a compelling and unique musical narrative.
Isn’t It Love, voted Best Love Song by New York’s York Theater Competition in 2018, is one of the musical gems from the show, along with the light-hearted A Little Pinch of This and That, contrasted by the dark and dramatic aria I Long For The Sun, in which Nunzio, the Sicilian patriarch (and composer’s grandfather), regrets and apologizes for his erratic and destructive behavior.