Theater: Roman Scamp

Rugantino, a musical transported intact from Rome and sung and spoken in Italian, is a pleasant novelty on Broadway. Unobtrusive English titles are flashed on a narrow screen above the stage to keep the playgoer abreast of action and dialogue. More nearly an operetta than a musical comedy, Rugantino is lavishly and attractively costumed and atmospherically set in Rome in 1830. Its bawdry is innocent, its humor earthy, its love songs are unselfconsciously sentimental.

The show revolves around a picaresque little man hero, Rugantino (Nino Manfredi), who wants to be the kind of I came—I pinched-I conquered-I told male who has always...

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