80-yr-old to star in a play about his own fabled coffee shop

January 18, 2015 by Geoff Sirmai
Read on for article

What do a street girl, a nun and a taxi driver have in common? They all drink coffee at the Piccolo Bar in Sydney’s Kings Cross!
Now, Vashti Hughes is set to star in a deliciously irreverent (and intimate!) musical theatre show that reveals all.

Vito and Vashti Hughes  Photo: Roslyn Sharpe

Vittorio with Vashti Hughes                  Photo: Roslyn Sharpe

The Piccolo Bar has drawn celebrities and colourful locals alike for five decades.
And central to its story is Vittorio, the cafe’s 80-year-old proprietor and Kings Cross institution.
Loved by all for his strong opinions (and strong language!)
he has seen anything and everything over 50 years behind his coffee machine.

Vashti Hughes is a Sydney Jewish actor-musician with a life of performing behind – and ahead of – her!
Sister of rock and cabaret icon Christa Hughes and daughter of jazz legend Dick Hughes, she grew up on the stage with music in her blood.

Vashti thought she was writing a one woman show until she handed over her script to Vittorio for approval. “He liked it very much and wondered if there might be a part in it for him?” she explains.
He was, of course, a rather flamboyant actor in his youth too. “But not too many lines!” he requested.

After diligent rehearsals, the show was due to open in June 2014 until Vittorio suffered a massive heart attack that necessitated a triple by-pass… much more drama than anyone wanted.

But – just like the Cross itself – you can’t keep a good man down! Vittorio is back, ready for action and is looking forward to performing alongside Vashti from February.

This new and original show (from the creative team behind the 2013 smash hit “Mum’s In: Stories from Razorhurst”) is a rollercoaster ride through the Les Girls and Vietnam eras, the heroin scene, rave parties and the current ‘pram mafia’.

It opens Tuesday 3 February with two shows a week and just twenty tickets are available per show so, as Vashti says, “it’s not for the claustrophobic!” It’s all accompanied by music played by Ross Johnston.

Vashti Hughes channels Vittorio as well as the other eccentric Kings Cross characters. This intimate, summer theatre experience – complete with Vittorio-style madness and directed by James Winter – is a wildly entertaining and, at times, confronting piece about urban change, gentrification and the many piccolo tales that create and colour it.
Piccolo-Tales-Sydney-2015

Bookings at www.piccolotales.eventbrite.com.au (20 seats max per show)

Comments

One Response to “80-yr-old to star in a play about his own fabled coffee shop”
  1. Kevin Charles Herbert says:

    Vittorio..what a character.

    If you arrived at the Piccolo all glammed up on the way out for a big night, and looking faintly pleased with yourself, Vito would bring you back to earth with a “you look awful”..with a faux grin riven with triple entendre.

    At another time if he was in the mood and saw you passing by outside, he’d rush to the door and call out ‘you look great…for once’.

    Fortunately I was introduced to Vito by a long time friend of his, so I knew what to expect.

    I saw a lot of events in the Piccolo in the 8 years I lived in P Point & E Bay..including undercover drug busts ,fierce domestic spats, couples visiting to thank Vito for introducing them…..to which he would add his sage opinion of “well don’t come crying to me when you break up!!!!”

    Viva Vito!!!!!

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