Festa Italiana has announced its entertainment for the 2018 festival, which takes place at the Summerfest grounds July 20-22, and it includes a mix of returning favorites and new acts.
The entire schedule is available at the Festa website, but here are some highlights:
- Milwaukee native and Tony Award-winner Anthony Crivello, who has starred in regional Broadway productions such as "Golden Boy," "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "Evita" and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s "Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular."
- Louis Vanaria, a long-standing Italian actor and singer seen in "A Bronx Tale" and on "Law & Order" and and other TV shows. Recently cast in multiple upcoming Hollywood films, Vanaria will perform Italian classics and new songs from his recent album.
- Local music legend George Busateri’s Spider George and the Web.
- The Sicilian Tenors, featuring the crooning of Aaron Caruso, Elio Scaccio and Sam Vitale.
- Tre Bella, an internationally renowned trio consisting of JoAnn Robertozzi, Lorraine Ferro and Rosie De Sanctis.
- Cory Pesaturo, world record-holding acoustic accordion champion.
- FLEMT, a rock band from Senigallia, Italy, who landed on the U.S. scene by opening for Bon Jovi in front of 40,000 fans.
"Our goal this year is to bring the party back to Festa. Having listened to generous feedback and requests from seasoned festivalgoers and the rest of the public, we decided to bring back many festival favorites from years past, as well as introduce entirely new acts, such as FLEMT from Italy," said Dean Cannestra, Italian Community Center president and Festa chairman.
"The highly anticipated return of George Busateri’s Spider George and the Web, along with many other popular acts, is sure to have festivalgoers on their feet and clapping along with the rest of the Italian community. Festivalgoers young and old, seasoned and new, will find musical and comedic entertainment that is nothing short of "fantastico" at this year’s festival!"
Festa tickets are $10 in advance through July 19 and are $13 at the gate.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.