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Lodi, New Jersey

St. Bartolomeo Drama

Mark Marino provided all the pictures and text for this section. 

One of the things I remember was the San Bartolomeo Festival in Lodi, New Jersy. St. Bartolomeo is the Patron Saint of Greci. Each year the people from Greci who live in Lodi would put on the Drama just like it was presented in Greci. I was brought up in New Jersey and remember that time with happiness The pictures below are from the great time. I think that they were taken around 1941

 Mark Marino (Morena),  My father Matteo Morena and my sister Maria Michela Morena

The play was similar to the one traditionally preformed in Greci and was presented in Lodi in August for many years as part of the week long Feast of San Bartolomeo. 

All the performers were people who originally came form Greci or were descendants of Greccesi.  Nicolas Vara had the photo of the cast.  His Grandfather Nicholas is in the front row, third from the right (not counting the horse!)

Nick Fofa is the one on the horse. 

The First Row from L to R -

1st person - Matteo Morena standing in front of the horse (he died 1-27-1944 so the photo was taken in prior to 1944)                                                                                                                                          2nd person  -?-                                                                                                                                                              3rd person - Tony Bonetti (half brotherof Mark's maternal grandfather, Leonardo  Capobianco)  

4th person - Vera Paese 

5th person - Maria Morena, Mark's sister her married name is Maria Edone 

6th person - Matteo Pucci

7th person - John Lombardi  

8th person - Michael Mella, Mark's mother's uncle                                                    

9th person - Nick Damico 

10th person -?-  

11th person -Nicolas Vara (Mark Marino's grandfather)                                          

12th person -nickname was Japnne  

13th person - Donato Meola 

The Director in the photo was Dan (Donato) Meola.  He is at the far right of the picuture holding the scrip.  He was born in Greci in 1900 and came to America in 1924.  He settled in Canton, Ohio.  He was the grandfather of Christine Frasca Maliza a grecicousin. Donato and his wife had two daughters.  Rose (Carosena), Christine's mother and Anita.  They moved to the bronx, NY aroung 1930.  Donato belonged to a club dedicated to St Bartolomeo and was the director of their production every year until the club was disbanded.  

The Second Row L to R -

First Angel - Yolanda Paese                                                                                     

Three in Black -?-, -?-, -?-                                                                                        

Second Angel - Frances Lombardi   

Alter Boy - Mark Marino                                             

Man on horse -? -

This is my father leading the two horsman at the begining of the play.

In this pictue Maria my sister is setting beside the Queen (this part was played by a man).  The Bad King is on the far left.  This part was played by Antonio Bonetti.  The angel in the back was played by Joe Deminno. 

During one of the years when the Bad King was killed, he was lying on the stage and his hat fell off.  He moved to put his hat back and this action was remembered by everyone.  He received a lot of teasing.

The director of some of the plays was Francesco Demmino.  He was in a wheel chair and could not walk but he was at all of the practices and the performances.


Editor's Note:  My thanks to Mark Marino for supplying all this information about the St. Bartolomeo Plays in Lodi New Jersey.  His help is greatly appreciated.