by Cristina Crisci
For 30 years, Paolo Rossi has traveled from the atmosphere of the club to the big stage, with a leap into the theatre, winking at the cabaret. His forays into television have become a cult hit as he does not even mind the circus tents. We had a curious conversation with Paolo Rossi on the phone lasting about fifteen minutes, interspersed with some good laughs, at 11, one morning on the eve of the show “ L’amore è un cane blu” (Love is a blue dog) that was staged in Città di Castello as a part of “Altrocioccolato” (the show has been cancelled at the last minute).
What does it mean to do theatre today?
«The obstacle to overcome if you want to maintain the concept of popular theater is the price of the ticket. I am no expert on economics, but I do not earn a lot in the theatre. For example then if you tour on your own its different but as in my case today I take 15 people with me, so doing theatre becomes unpopular. The public numbers are dwindling».
So one solution could be to lower the cost of the ticket ?
«For example in the case of a concert in Rome where the movement of presale tickets was poor, we halved the price and sales went from 200 in 2000. A lot of people came to tell me, “I’ve never seen you because I could not afford it».
In TV you made cult programs also, together with Celentano, so that for someone like, Santoro, you were one of the most interesting couples on the small screen. Is there still TV in your future?
«Television is still important, but no longer as it once was, now you can do some interesting and diverse things, record a video, put it on the web and watch it reach 130.000 hits».
What do you think of current TV?
«I watch Rai News to see what is happening, then I watch football and movies on DVD. The other day I saw a romantic film, it is possible for me to be touched by a film and then everything changes, my dog and I, after seeing the movie we were up all night crying. That’s what a comedian does at night , weeping».
What does the title of the show “L’amore è un cane blu”’ mean?
«I had to leave for il Carso for a show and I had a dream of the blue dog. Then while picking up ideas from mythology and tales, I was reminded of the story of the dog that has a strange relationship with the Bora and that, instead of going backwards the dog turns blue… in reality it was a legend that was told to me as a child and that I had forgotten. In fact, my grandmother told me that after the arrival of the blue dog, something very important happens but no one knows if it will be a good or bad event».
L’amore è un cane blu’ will also be on film, it is a project that has been on going?
«These are notes for a film, I initially wanted to tell a story that clearly changed over the months and it has become a funny and grotesque west Balkan comedy, like it’s a live soundtrack by the group ‘ I Virtuosi del Carso ‘ that is ever so important».
Today more and more often comedians draw on the political situation. You, for example, if absurdly you were on of a tower with Beppe Grillo and Silvio Berlusconi, who would you throw off?
«I simply wouldn’t go up the tower».
In your resume as a singer there is a song unreleased by Rino Gaetano, are there any other songs you’d like to sing or re-release?
«Yes, ‘ Parlare con i limoni’ (Talking to lemons) by Enzo Jannacci».
What music do you listen to?
«Anything that I consider interesting, both Italian and foreign. For three years, thanks to an opera director I became interested in the work of Cimarosa, I was at San Carlo in Naples. They took me to Hong Kong, where I performed in a kind of absurd Chinese… of course I never thought of becoming an opera director».
For a month on a desert island, which book would you put in your suitcase?
«“Hallucinations” by Oliver Sacks».