Julianna (portrayed by Olivia Cinquepalmi) is the youngest of the Smaldone sisters and brothers, the family baby who came along long after momma and poppa thought they were done growing their already large family.
She represents another generation from most of her siblings, having been only a child during the Great Depression and a young teenager during the war years that followed.
Even at her young age, she already is achieving firsts:
- The first in the family to go to what had been an exclusively Irish Catholic grade school in the neighborhood (the others went to public school), she mingles with non-Italians from a young age.
- The first to talk about wanting to have a career.
- The first to have a wide circle of non-family friends, something not done by older siblings.
As New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House begins, she’s bringing her Irish boyfriend, Billy, to meet her family and to ask permission to marry him. Marrying a non-Italian was frowned on by Italians of that era, circa 1960, so this represents perhaps Julianna at her most rebellious.
But she is determined to be accepted as an American, not as an immigrant or daughter of an immigrant. She has been caught up in the Kennedy fervor of the time, believing it is her responsibility to change the country for the better by tearing down old barriers and old prejudices.
Comes ee how that works out for her, buy your ticket now for New Year’s Eve At Grandma’s House, with shows Nov. 3-18, Saturday evenings at 7, Sundays at 3. Simply click here for tickets.