Opening of Theatre Exile’s Rizzo

Allies, associates and antagonists of Philadelphia's controversial former mayor turned up for the play's much-anticipated premiere.

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Last night was the long-anticipated opening of the play Rizzo from Theatre Exile [Read David Fox’s review of the play here]. The event drew lots of political powerhouses from years gone by like Frank Rizzo strategist Marty Weinberg as well as the current the Democratic contender for mayor, Jim Kenney. There were also family members in the audience, friends and people who weren’t fond of Rizzo on hand to see the show. Before the performance, there was a cocktail party down the street at the home of long-time theater supporters Pam and Gresham Riley, where author Sal Paolantonio, who wrote the book the play is based on, appeared. Also there was Joe Canuso, founding partner of Theatre Exile, and director of Rizzo.

Following the play, there was an after party held at The Plough & the Stars. Rizzo is running at Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St. through November 8.th I was glad to catch it last night; Scott Greer and the cast were amazing. Everyone I talked to really enjoyed it, and said it really captured the angry and morose Rizzo as he tried to change his personality, and run for a third term as Mayor of Philadelphia in the early ’90s before his untimely death.

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HughE Dillon covers parties, events and more for Philadelphia magazine’s The Scene. You can follow him on Twitter at @iPhillyChitChat and visit his daily online social diary PhillyChitChat.com.