Despite my allergy to fish and seafood, I sat down with The Calamari Sisters to discuss their return to Provincetown with their brand new show Clam Bake, which will be at the Sage Inn through August 22 (336 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA)! Click here for tickets!
After making a splash last year in Provincetown, The Calamari Sisters are back with Clam Bake, a crazier, zanier musical cooking show where Delphine & Carmela Calamari confess all their family recipes to cook the perfect Italian Clam Bake!
1. This summer you are returning to Provincetown with a brand new show Clam Bake at P-town's Sage Inn through August 22. What excites you about returning to Provincetown? What doesn't excite us? The people, the culture, the men! All these big muscley men and they treat us like queens which is just lovely. Coming from Brooklyn, we usually treat Queens like a four lettered word, but in this case it's just wonderful.
2. What makes the Sage Inn the perfect venue to perform this show? The Sage folks have been wonderful to us and let us really go to town making the room into a little theatre including a set and an actual lighting system. We've been told that when the Sage was the Vixen, it was known for having lots of clams so it's just perfect for our clam bake!
3. What made you want to create a show around an Italian Clam Bake? We wanted to dispense the myth that the only way to do a clam bake is the New England way. I mean, it's perfectly lovely but if you want to do it the RIGHT way, you need to give it an Italian spin.
4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing this new show? So far our audiences have come away saying it's the best time they've had all season. How could we ask for any more than that? As long as they leave with their stomachs and cheeks hurting from laughing and with the knowledge that we have the juiciest clams in Provincetown, we're happy as...well, a clam.
5. If you could give people one reason as to why they should come see Clam Bake, what would that reason be? It's the ONLY musical cooking show in town! That's right...we sing, dance, and cook at the same time. And if you're lucky, you get to taste our clams.
6. How did you initially decide you wanted to do an act together? Many of your shows are centered around cooking. How did you come up with the idea to have cooking be the center of your shows? We've always cooked together. As sisters, our Ma (Vittoria Isabella Minestrone Calamari) taught us all about Italian cooking, and of course we always sang along to our records when we were in the kitchen. When we grew up, it just seemed like a natural fit to combine all our talents into a show.
7. How is it working together and being sisters? Does sibling rivalry ever get in the way or has performing together made you closer? We have always been close. Yes, admittedly, we bicker and squabble, but we're best friends and I don't know what we'd do without one another.
8. In this show, you confess all your family recipes to make the perfect Italian Clam Bake. What is one family secret you have yet to reveal? We will never reveal our Ma's secret recipe for red sauce. However, we're making it tonight with a special twist because Carmela and I have crabs. Crabs and sauce! Mmmm!
10. What have you learned about yourselves from being performers? Don't make it look too easy. Always pretend to be winded or like you're going to pass out. If you make it look too easy, they pay you less and make you do more.
11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? The ability to unhinge our jaw and distend our esophagus. There are pieces of meat that we wish we could handle but our mouths are too small. We would be so happy if we could just take those big pieces of meat. Now THAT'S a power worth having!
12. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in to it? The Big Girltini. Because we certainly are big girls and we think that many visitors to Provincetown are as well. Let's hear it for being a big girl!
More on the Calamari Sisters:
Delphine Calamari was born in Bay Ridge, NY, the eldest daughter of Rocco and Vittoria Calamari. By age seven, she was assisting her grandmother cater every major event at the legendary Rigatoni Lodge of the Brooklyn Federation of Italian-American Societies. Her love for meat began soon there after, and within a few years she was known throughout the borough as "that Italian girl that can tell you which butcher a sausage comes from with her eyes closed." By the time Delphine was a young woman, it was widely believed that unless you served Delphine’s meatballs at your wedding reception, your marriage would be doomed and you would never conceive a son to carry on your family name. In addition to cooking, Delphine has always been interested in the arts, singing countless duets with her sister, Carmela, at St. Lawrence of the Roasted Martyrs Church and Convent. Their nativity of cold meats and dairy was always a huge crowd pleaser at Christmastime. Also, as a young girl, Delphine attended Miss FloFlo’s School of Dance for Bigger Girls, where she excelled until she was asked to leave due to an unfortunate fight with a fellow dancer, Tula Mercantelli, over a piece of Easter pie. Today, Tula is carrying her third illegitimate child by a third father, and it serves her right. Undaunted, Delphine was Founder and President of the Pasta and Meat Club at St. Lady of the Divine Pain High School, as well as unofficial Cookie Maker for the Drama Club, where she also landed such roles as "Nurse Flinn" in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, the "Kit Kat Club Janitor" in Cabaret, and "Rusty Charlie" in Guys And Dolls. Upon graduating, she was fired from several restaurant jobs for forcing patrons to eat after they were full. Jobless, she teamed up with her sister, Carmela, and founded the borough-famous Calamari Sisters’ Catering Company. They soon became well-known for their song-and-dance-and-cooking routines, being hired by such notable public figures as Ed Koch, Hoda Kotb, and Nancy Harrigan. Knowing that the next natural step for them was television, when the opportunity presented itself, they grabbed it. Four years ago, their Uncle JoJo accidentally went swimming without taking off his cement block, and left them a large inheritance, which they used to finance their public access cable TV show, MANGIA ITALIANO. Delphine wishes to thank her family for all of their support (except her Aunt Viola, go to hell), especially Uncle Geno for being in the right place at the right time when this kitchen set fell off the back of that truck! Delphine sends much love to all of her fans, and invites them to mangia, MANGIA!
Carmela Calamari was born in Bay Ridge, NY, the lightest daughter of Rocco and Vittoria Calamari, weighing 15 pounds at birth. Carmela began turning heads with her cooking from a very young age, combining a lemonade stand with a kissing booth at the age of eight. After being promptly shut down by her uncle, and several of her customers mysteriously disappearing, she turned her attention to more conventional outlets and began competing in the Bay Ridge pageant circuit. While qualified, Carmela was crowned Miss Salami of Bay Ridge, first runner-up Miss Wooden Spoon of Bay Ridge, and Miss Congeniality for Miss Stuck Pig of Bay Ridge; always wowing the crowd with some extraordinary new and unusual talent. It was while competing for the famous Miss Macaroni of Greater Brooklyn when Carmela was allegedly caught feeding one of the judges minestrone soup out of her Gucci knock-off pump. Although never conclusively proven, she was disqualified from any and all future Italian pageants in all five boroughs. Never one to accept defeat, Carmela dove into helping her sister, Delphine, and their grandmother cater events at the Rigatoni Lodge, becoming the fastest cake frost-er in all of Brooklyn. In addition, she became the darling of the St. Lady of the Divine Pain High School’s Drama Club, playing such roles as "Effie" in Dreamgirls, "Eliza DooLittle" in My Fairy Lady, and "Mary" in The Secret Garden. After graduation, Carmela attended DeVry University for a year and a half before pursuing her dream of a life in the show biz. She came close to her big break when she was cast as Kathy Bates butt double, but the MPAA deemed the scene "of questionable taste," and Carmela’s film debut was never seen. However, when her sister, Delphine, suggested they start a singing-dancing-cooking business together, Carmela knew it was the perfect marriage of her two favorite things: cooking and performing, and so Calamari Sisters’ Catering Company was born. Achieving neighborhood attention for their unusual catering style incorporating song-and-dance routines, she always knew that she needed a medium that would allow more people to experience her unique caliber of entertainment. Public access cable was the answer!! She became the star of MANGIA ITALIANO! Carmela wishes to thank her Uncle JoJo for never making good on his bets, and her devoted fans for their countless letters, pictures (both G-rated and otherwise), and articles of clothing (both laundered and otherwise) the past four years. Carmela wishes to leave you with a quote: "Dreams are like butterflies. Don’t let them go 'cause they won’t come back. So hold onto them tight even if kills the butterfly."