Keystone brings in Festa Italiana |

Keystone brings in Festa Italiana

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As if last weekend’s Taste of Keystone wasn’t enough to perk up your taste buds, Keystone’s throwing another spicy Festa, this time transforming River Run Village into a quaint Italian street, simmering with authentic cuisine, wine and entertainment by the likes of crazy Italian chefs and zany waiters.

This year, Festa Italiana features Mario the Peddler, an author, speaker and entertainer who has inspired leaders around the world, from Congressmen to popes. He bases his character on Tony Bottagaro’s best-selling novel, “The Poet, The Count, and The Peddler” and preaches peace, love and justice.

As a New York City street peddler, Mario offers humorous and philosophical musings on the magic of love, and other uplifting themes. His stage play has garnered a reputation for both delighting and motivating audiences as he “walks” along the streets of New York City from his home in Little Italy. He engages the child within through trinkets (which are all associated with wisdom) and takes audiences on journeys meant to reveal their own faith and hope in humanity.

As Mario describes it on his website, his show “lets the soul speak and forces the heart to listen.”

Between Mario’s appearances, Sal Martorano’s Swing Shift and Deano entertain adults.

Four retired music teachers and one retired Air Force Band member – all of whom have master’s degrees and more than 30 years of performance experience – comprise Sal Martorano’s Swing Shift. The Swing Shift delivers Italian favorites, tarantellas and music recorded by Italian American artists like Louis Prima, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney and Dean Martin. Plus, they throw in a little swing, jazz and classic rock. You’ll hear “Come Fly with Me,” “Mac the Knife,” “Tequila (Chainti),” “That’s Amore” and more from them.

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Then the Deano Quartet usher in Big Band dance and standards from the 1930s through the ’60s. From “My Romance,” “Lady’s A Tramp” and “New York, New York,” to “Take the A Train,” “My Funny Valentine” and “Route 66,” you’ll find them “Unforgettable.”