By EMMA BARTLETT
Comedian Nick Albanese, 48, is bringing Buddy Cianci back to life in his new one-man comedy show “BUDDY: One Last Night.” Join Buddy at the Comedy Park within …
By EMMA BARTLETT
Comedian Nick Albanese, 48, is bringing Buddy Cianci back to life in his new one-man comedy show “BUDDY: One Last Night.” Join Buddy at the Comedy Park within Cranston’s Park Theatre from June 15 to 19 – seating limited – as he shares stories about the highs and lows of his career before going on "vacation" in the fall of 2002. Albanese said the show is filled with drama, comedy and Providence political history.
Given the nickname “young Buddy” when he was a child, Albanese looks like Buddy Cianci and met the former Providence mayor growing up. Albanese said he was around age five or six when he met Buddy at Lombardi’s 1025 Club; Albanese was dressed up with his hair combed to one side and everyone at the venue kept saying he looked like Buddy. Buddy walked in when someone told him there was a kid there who looked like him, Buddy said ‘this must be some good looking kid’ and went over and met Albanese. Years later, Albanese and Buddy crossed paths again -- with Buddy remembering him from Lombardi’s.
Albanese grew up in North Providence and graduated from CCRI in 1995 with a degree in theatre; he is now a writer, actor and producer.
“My thing was acting and writing,” said Albanese.
He performed in a number of productions at CCRI and in the local theatre scene. By the late 90s, Albanese became involved with TV and film – spending several years in California. In 2007, Albanese starred on national television by appearing in a few episodes of Showtime’s series “Brotherhood” as Councilman Charlie Hacker in seasons two and three.
After his involvement in TV and film for several years, Albanese returned to his theatre roots.
In 2015, he started his own theatre group with friends which ran up until the pandemic. Albanese debuted his one-man play, “The Last Sicilian” in 2015 which won Best New Work at the 2016 MOTIF Theatre Awards in RI and had a two week run Off-Broadway in New York City in 2018.
Albanese’s stand up comedy career took flight when he met comedian George Carlin at Providence Performing Arts Center who gave him advice on writing his own material. Carlin said to write five minutes of material for a routine and said Albanese should go to every open mic night he could.
Albanese said Trinity Repertory Company performed a play about Buddy in 2019 called “Prince of Providence.” Knowing he wanted to write his own piece on Buddy, Albanese got to work.
In “BUDDY: One Last Night,” Albanese said there will be a couple of surprises in the show – including one or two minor characters which will be appearances by surprise actors; there will also be a slideshow with photos capturing Buddy’s life. Overall, there will be funny bits with some more serious moments about him speaking of his life. Since he will be performing in a comedy hall instead of a black box theatre, Albanese has altered his show.
He said in a black box theatre, the performer isn’t talking to the audience as much and the whole event is more theatrical. With the comedy hall where there are tables, chairs and bar, the room has a different feeling. In the Comedy Park, Albanese said the show will be more interactive.
For Albanese’s writing process, he writes what he thinks is funny and will either show some people or go to an open mic night to test the material. Sometimes, he’ll have his regular material and sneak in new segments to see if it works with the crowd.
Albanese’s favorite comedians include Sebastian Maniscalco, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle.
“I love guys who say what they want and don't care…comedy is supposed to be a little offensive,” Albanese said.
He said in his own work he has a little jab here and there, but he tries not to offend anyone since he wants them to enjoy the show.
Albanese has also written several plays including “Everyone Needs Some Therapy Sometimes,” “The Last Days of Rockin’ Rob’s” and “Many Sides of the Reaper.” “Everyone Needs Some Therapy Sometimes” is about patients who have different issues and are in group therapy together; the play shines the light on their issues through comedy. “Last Days of Rob and Rock” is about a record shop that closes in the early 2000s when technology is taking over and no one is buying records and “Many Sides of the Reaper” is based on the true story of a Mafia hit-man in the 1980s. Albanese said he would eventually like to bring back “Many Sides of the Reaper” after rewriting and cutting the cast size; he would also like to see “Everyone Needs Some Therapy Sometimes” come back to the stage.
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