Father’s Day Tributes

Father’s Day Greeting

from our patrons


In memory of Armando Domenichetti and  Ed Ryan

—-from Rich Domenichetti

For dad

—from Greg LaMorte

Thanks Dad

—from Frank Irzyk


Steve Mattiani

Happy father’s day from all your children! We wanted to send a special message to recognize your support for the arts – and for all of us. Hope you have a great day and looking forward to getting the family together again soon!

The Mattaini kids


We begin this week posting Father’s Day tributes from members of our production and directing team. You too can send your dad a special greeting here by becoming a patron of our show, just select one of our Father’s Day perks for your contribution to our crowd-funding campaign. Click here to contribute and we will email you for the tribute you wish to have posted.


Father’s Day Tributes 

Teaching me to be a warrior

I am very lucky to be young and have a father who is still a major presence in my life, both emotionally and financially (thanks for supporting my dreams, Dad!).

As is so often true, much of what my dad has taught me has to do with being a warrior. My dad taught me to be strong and tough and smart. He taught me to be proud to stand up for what is right. He taught me to be a feminist. But he also taught me to nourish my inner life. He turned me into an avid reader, particularly of mystery novels.

He shaped me into a person who is capable of introspection and quiet. He taught be to analytical, careful, and fiercely loyal.

Molly Mattaini, director
Molly Mattaini, director

So much of what we are is shaped by the example our parents set for us, whether it is because they lead by example or because we vow to never be like them. Most often I think it’s a little bit of both. And whether or not we intend to, in the end we become our parents.

I am so proud to be my father’s daughter. I can’t wait to share this story of fathers and sons with our audience.

Molly Mattaini – Director


Libero Calzavara, Storyteller Extraordinaire

Once upon a time, there was a father who told his daughter stories about Fee-Fee the fly and her friend Horace the horsefly. Fee-Fee was a daring being, running off to join the circus to become an arial acrobat, and learning to swim against the odds. At the end of each tale, Fee-Fee emerged unscathed in the bosom of her family with another exciting adventure under her wings. My life and character have been shaped by my father’s stories.

As I grew older, Dad entertained with stories of relatives and friends with the most melodic names – Gigi Bajetta, Eddie Bombagetti, Dotsy Pitotsy to name a few. Sometimes they are heroes, other times villains. They are brought to life through his passionate and animated telling. Each story comes with its unique lesson of loyalty, friendship, and hard work.

Later I was often a homesick college student back for a weekend. Dad and I sat at the kitchen table on the Friday afternoon. The house was quiet. Tears flowed freely as I lamented about missing my family and friends, and my terrible roommate’s latest indiscretion. My father consoled me with his own stories about being a young homesick sailor. Then, on Sunday, he’d prepare a giant Italian sub sandwich for me to take back to school. It came with his instructions to place it near the radiator so the aromas would entice my fellow students into my dorm room. An Italian father’s recipe for making friends to ease his daughter’s homesickness.

Carolyn Calzavara, producer
Carolyn Calzavara, producer

Whenever I lacked confidence, my dad’s advice was to stand tall and act like I knew what I was doing. His favorite saying is, “all the actors aren’t in Hollywood, kid.” He truly believes I can do anything and be anything I want. I always smile before a big presentation hearing his voice in my mind.

My dad instilled a great appreciation of storytelling in me. I love the characters, the drama, the tragedy and comedy. Mostly I love the wisdom and learnings they illustrate. I’m proud to say that both my brothers inherited my father’s story telling talent. My nieces, nephew and I love to goad them into telling us about the most recent firefighter call or boardroom antics. The expressions, the voices, the sheer theater are hilarious.

For me, I’m taking the storytelling gene in another direction. Co-founding the Evanston Second Act Players and taking to the stage (and behind the scenes) is an exciting new endeavor for me.

Thank you, Dad, for giving me the courage and confidence to try something new. Here’s one actor who definitely isn’t in Hollywood!

Your loving daughter,
Carolyn Calzavara – Producer


Things I wish I’d told my dad

Mark Twain said it, and likely every man has realized it. When we’re young, we think our dads are stupid and when we get older we understand how wise they really were.

My dad died before I could tell him how wise I realized he was, so I’d like to tell him here. He never wanted to own a house or car, for example, saying a house was too much work and a car made no sense because, when you own a car in a  city like New York, it means you put your most expensive possession on the street every night for vandals, thieves, etc.

John N. Frank, playwright, cast member
John N. Frank, playwright, cast member

After he had emergency surgery in the mid-1960s that nearly ended his life, my dad became a much more relaxed person. He started appreciating the little things in life and realized money would not buy him, or anyone, happiness. He left a high-pressure office job  at an importing firm to work in the post office and turned down every promotion offered him. That last thing always drove me crazy since I like to be in charge, no matter where I work.

But he’d joke about postal workers coming in with guns to shoot their supervisors. I’ve never been shot, but I’ve had enough troublesome workers now to see the wisdom of his decision there too.

Just be happy, he would tell me. He likely realized that, at the time he died, I was in a very unhappy life, trying to be someone I wasn’t and feeling more and more alone in the process. I never told him, but he likely knew.

I wish I could tell him everything is different now. I’ve realized the wisdom of some of his thoughts and sayings. I do have a house and cars, but I truly know those are not what’s most important in my life. Having recently faced the type of health scare he did in the 1960s, I give thanks for every day now, even the crummy ones.

I miss you dad, thank you for being my father.

John Frank — playwright, cast member



Our special Fathers Day perks are now live on our fund-raising campaign site. Send your dad a special greeting here, just click through below:

Talking with My Dad Crowd-Funding

dad and me

MY dad holding me, roughly a month after my birth — John N. Frank

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