Name: Antoinette LaVecchia
Found at: TheaterWorks (Hartford)
What is the one thing that has defined your life so far?
My father's decision to bring us to the United States has been the greatest thing to define my life so far.
At what point in your life have you been happiest? Saddest?
Emotions are impossible to measure. Each new day can bring new joys and new sorrows.
What's your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is watching reruns of Friends.
Best and worst thing about your career as an actress?
I love storytelling, and I love connecting with an audience. I believe with all my heart that theatre, music, art, dance help us all transcend and heal. The worst part is dealing with people in the business who have no respect for the artist.
What is your favorite wine and how do you like to pair it?
I love a smooth, round flavored red. Am thoroughly enjoying Ripasa at the moment. I love to pair it with a hearty dish like polenta.
Whom do you most admire and look-up to in your life?
I most admire my parents. They are the most generous people I know and their work ethic is astounding. They may not have supported all the decisions I made in my life, but they are always there to support me in any way they can.
What is something you have learned this past week?
That Dee's One Smart Cookie makes one hell of a lemon cake. DELICIOUS! And allergy-free!
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I would be in Hawaii! I haven't taken a vacation since 2004 and Hawaii is a dream destination.
Name the four people, living or dead you would invite to dinner.
Nora Ephron, Billy Wilder, William Shakespeare, Dalai Lama
Name three beauty tips you can't live without.
3. Drink Water
How do you manage to carry on a two-hour-long monologue in I Love, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti, all the while preparing dinner for some audience members? Which is more difficult, remembering your lines or remembering the recipes?
The most challenging time was learning the piece. The director, Rob Ruggiero, and I had to figure out the timing of the talking and cooking, so that each dish I'm preparing is ready when it needs to be ready in the storytelling. I've never worked so hard (thank you Jacques Lamarre!) But the performing of it is a blast. The cooking actually grounds me, so that if I forget a line, I can always retrieve it because I remember "oh, I start to say this when I grab the can opener." I've been getting many compliments on my knife skills - I can't tell you how many hours I rehearsed the "chopping of the onion" while telling a story simultaneously...
The stage version mixes aspects of your own personal life and that of the character you play, based on the memoir by Giulia Melucci. Where do the two begin and end, or is it a happy meeting in the middle?
Oh it's a wonderful happy medium. There are so many things that Giulia and I share in common, but I also love the differences. There is a great deal of kismet with this project.
Having a wheat and cheese allergy, what is it like to prepare spaghetti carbonara night after night?
Not a problem at all! I love feeding people and I can't describe how happy I am when I look down at the "diners" at the end of the show and see that they've all cleaned their bowls.
If you're in your own kitchen, what are you cooking?
LOADS of veggies and fish with some quinoa and brown rice thrown in.