The Finellis was created by Mark Janicello. Many of the stories, characters and situations have been culled from his own life, though fictionalized. Janicello's quite extraordinary life has lent him a distinctive voice and a unique storytelling style.
Historically, comedy thrives during periods of great uncertainty and war. The best examples of this phenomenon were the escapist entertainments produced on Broadway and in Hollywood during the Great Depression and the World Wars.
The Finellis tells the story of Tony Finelli, a once-famous American singer, living in Berlin who spends 15 years in jail to save his family from the mob. Despite everything that life has thrown at him, he never quits, remaining an “eternal optimist.” Tony is a middle-aged man who, like Rocky Balboa, lost everything but still stands up, again and again, to fight for his dreams.
While writing the original scripts, Janicello reached back to the “golden age of American television" to borrow the successful template of legendary writer/producer Norman Lear (All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons). In both the film, and the musical Janicello takes comedic and dramatic storylines then seamlessly integrates musical-, and animated sequences into the storytelling. A type of "magic realism" is the result. The Finellis makes you laugh, but also has something on its mind, lightly touching on trendy, “hot topics” such as age discrimination, and LGBTQIA+ rights -- while still remaining entertaining, and family-friendly.
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