The Exhibition

2017: ON THE OCCASION OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF TOTO’S DEATH, A NEW EXHIBITION WILL BE PRESENTED TO THE WORLD.

WHILE REMAINING PART OF THE TOTO’S FAMILY, IN CASE YOU’D LIKE TO CONTACT THE NEW BORN ASSOCIAZIONE ANTONIO DE CURTIS IN ARTE TOTO’, WRITE TO: INFO@ASSOCIAZIONEANTONIODECURTISINARTETOTO.COM 

THANK YOU! COME BACK FOR MORE DETAILS ON THE EXHIBITION TO COME. 

A PRINCE NAMED TOTÒ
BASED ON THE MAIN EXHIBIT A PRINCE NAMED TOTÒ, CURATED BY DIANA DE CURTIS

A prince named…

A PRINCE NAMED TOTÒ is a celebration of Italy’s comic genius TOTÒ. On display will be original film posters, manuscripts, personal photographs and memorabilia coming directly from the De Curtis Family Archive. These works will reveal the entire creative spectrum of a genius named Antonio De Curtis – TOTÒ: Screen Actor, Stage Actor, Composer, and Poet, as well as TOTÒ the man.

ANTONIO DE CURTIS  – TOTÒ (as he used to be called by everyone, even himself) was born as an actor in the theater of the streets of Naples; and as an actor, he was and is celebrated all around the world. Yet, Totò was also something else. In his entire life he wrote more than 30 poems and composed more than 40 songs, many of them sung by popular Italian singers. Unfortunately, his art as a poet and a composer is less known and recognized than his art as an actor. With the exceptions of the song MALAFEMMENA and the poem ‘A LIVELLA, the poetry and the music of Totò remain the other side of the moon in Toto’s hemisphere. Looking at his entire work, it is possible for everyone to better understand what kind of treasure Antonio De Curtis was, and why he has to be considered one of the greatest artists of all times. His ability to describe a view, a feeling or a social situation is comparable to his art of sketching a character on stage and/or on screen.

The exhibition is comprised of more than 100 documents from the private archives of the De Curtis Family.
LAURA CAPARROTTI, CURATOR. THE EXHIBITION HAS BEEN MADE POSSIBLE BY THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THE DE CURTIS FAMILY.

THE EXHIBITION
THE EXHIBITION IS COMPRISED OF ABOUT 100 PANELS (OF VARIOUS SIZES) TO BE HUNG ON A WALL OR ANY SIMILAR SURFACE. EACH PANEL IS VERY LIGHT, EASY TO HANG AND SUITABLE FOR ANY DÉCOR AND ANY KIND OF SPACE.
THE EXHIBITION INCLUDES ALSO MEMORABILIA, SUCH COSTUMES, COMICS ON TOTO’ AND ONE OF THE LAST BOMBETTA USED BY TOTO’ ON STAGE. THE MEMORABILIA NEED TO BE DISPLAYED INA VERY SAFE WINDOW OR GLASS-CASE.

THE EXHIBIT IS DIVIDED INTO 5 SECTIONS:
ANTONIO DE CURTIS – TOTÒ, STAGE ACTOR
ANTONIO DE CURTIS – TOTÒ, COMPOSER
ANTONIO DE CURTIS – TOTÒ, POET
ANTONIO DE CURTIS – TOTÒ IN FILM
ANTONIO DE CURTIS – TOTÒ, THE MAN

DETAILED STRUCTURE OF THE EXHIBITION – THE 5 SECTIONS

Each section is completed by a detailed and full chronology of
Toto’ in film, in theatre, Toto’s poems and songs.

•    ANTONIO DE CURTIS – TOTÒ, STAGE ACTOR
The main section of the exhibit displays documents, photos, and posters from his years on stage. Photos of him as “Il bel Ciccillo”, famous macchietta of the beginning of the past century, with soubrettes in a Rivista, with Anna Magnani, Nino Taranto, Michele Galdieri, and others colleagues on stage. Posters from some Avanspettacolo will show how at that time the performance was conceived, usually following the screening of an American movie. Other documents such as a request for censorship, manuscripts of theater monologues and scenes, and drawings sketched by Fellini and Pasolini will be on display.

•    ANTONIO DE CURTIS – TOTÒ, COMPOSER
This section presents some of the famous songs of Totò. Also, it is possible to understand the process that Totò followed in the composition of a song or a poem. First, he had handwritten the words, taking notes, putting ideas down on paper. Then he typed the first version, making some corrections. Then he would change some words on the typed copy, and typed the words again in their final version. In this section, covers of sheet music of his songs, and some scores will also be on display.

•    ANTONIO DE CURTIS – TOTÒ, POET
The section illustrates his production of poetry. It includes manuscripts of some love poems, poems on the city of Naples, and poems about animals.

•   ANTONIO DE CURTIS – TOTÒ  IN FILM
In this section, one can find posters, flyers, brochures and other promotional material related to the films of Totò. All the material is strictly original.

•    ANTONIO DE CURTIS – TOTÒ, THE MAN
A few photos from Totòs life are presented, together with some documents from his private life, such as his birth certificate. Also, captions will report memories, opinions and feelings written or said by Totò during his life.

•    ANTONIO DE CURTIS – TOTÒ, MEMORABILIA
Comics where the protagonist is Toto’, Cine-novel of Toto’s films, the famous interview with Oriana Fallaci, original CINEMA magazines on Toto’ films, are on display together with the most important piece of the entire exhibition: one of the last Bombetta (Bowler) used on stage by Toto’.

Event’s Impact on an audience around the World.
The exhibition was successfully presented in some of the major cities and universities.
IN THE UNITED STATES: New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and Montclair-NJ, Naples and Fort Meyers – Florida;
IN CANADA: Toronto, Vancouver;
IN EUROPE: Istanbul (Turkey), Edinburgh (Scotland), Montpellier (France).

The response has been always extraordinary. The exhibit is interesting for those who already know Totò, because they can discover more about the actor they usually know only from films. It is no less interesting for the uninitiated because through the works exhibited, all viewers can recognize him as an international artistic genius.

It’s possible, upon request, to provide several press-clips on the exhibition on Toto’.

Related Events
Related events are not included in the Exhibition fee. The fee of each event is to be discussed with the organizer.

1.    SCREENING OF THE 2004 DOCUMENTARY YOU DON’T KNOW WHO TOTÒ IS (55 minutes), directed by Massimo Ferrari, and produced by Cinecitta’ Entertainment and Sky Cinema Classic. In Italian with English Subtitles. Together with Totòs TV interviews and film clips, several important testimonials express their admiration and their analysis on Totò. Among them: F. Murray Abraham, Ben Gazzara, Renzo Arbore, Ninetto Davoli, Achille Bonito Oliva, Mike Bongiorno, Lucio Dalla, Antonio Monda, Professor Asor Rosa, Philosopher Massimo Cacciari, Enzo Moscato, and Totòs daughter Liliana De Curtis. The documentary has been broadcasted on SKY Cinema Classic on November 2004.

2.    PERFORMANCE: TOTÒ’S POETRY IN WORDS AND MUSIC. A selection of about 15 songs and 15 poems written by Antonio De Curtis – Totò, including the well known poem ‘A Livella and the famous song Malafemmena. Video-excerpts with Totò reciting his poems are included. Read More.

3.   BOOK: Presentation of the PHOTOGRAPHIC BOOK UN PRINCIPE CHIAMATO TOTÒ (A prince named Totò). Published by Rizzoli in 2004 and edited by Diana De Curtis, the catalogue is a photographic story of the life and art of Totò, filled also by memories by colleagues such as Vittorio De Sica, Eduardo De Filippo, Federico Fellini. Never seen photos and rarely published documents are aligned together with very familiar Totò faces. The material is part of the exhibition A prince named Totò, curated by the De Curtis Family.

4.    LECTURES ON TOTÒ:
a)    Totò, a mask of Commedia dell’Arte
b)    The “Commedia all’Italiana” – Comedy Italian Style
c)    Napoli and all his sons
d)    The Rivista and the Avanspettacolo
e)    Totò and Buster Keaton
It is also possible to organize lectures focusing on relationships between Totò the actor and a certain director or a particular actor. A variety of topics and formats can be scheduled.

5. COOKING: PRESENTATION OF THE RECIPES OF TOTÒ. Presentation of the book, written in Italian, and translated into English, FEGATO QUA, FEGATO LA’, FEGATO FRITTO E BACCALA’ by Liliana de Curtis and Matilde Amoroso. The book contains more than 50 recipes coming directly from the Neapolitan tradition. The presence of Liliana De Curtis is suggested.

6. A SELECTION OF TOTÒS FILMS WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES (DVD PAL FORMAT – TAPE NTSC FORMAT). PLEASE, ASK FOR DETAILED LIST.

The exhibition is coming with Totò merchandise such as: videos, books (in Italian), writing paper, aprons, beach towels, agendas, t-shirts, cd of Toto’ reciting his poems.

Curators
THE DE CURTIS FAMILY, owners of the Totò Archives
LAURA CAPARROTTI for KAIROS ITALY THEATER, Curator of the US exhibition and US representative of the De Curtis Family

Proposal written by Laura Caparrotti of Kairos Italy Theater Inc. All rights reserved. Last revised February 2010.