Locally-produced play in the works about Buddy Cianci’s life

By John Krinjak

Email: jkrinjak@abc6.com

Twitter: @johnkrinjakABC6

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Providence-based Trinity Repertory Company is now working to bring Buddy Cianci’s well-chronicled life to the stage, in an adaptation of the 2004 book "The Prince of Providence" by Mike Stanton.

Trinity Rep has commissioned a playwright to write the adaptation.

"He is maybe one of Providence’s most famous individuals, and probably the most famous politician. He is both notorious and celebrated. People really love him and some people really hate him," said Trinity’s Associate Artistic Director Tyler Dobrowsky.

The longtime Providence mayor–revered for his charisma and the revitalization of the city he loved, while dogged by legal issues–continues to fascinate more than two years after his death.

"In a very broad sense, it’s about how cities were made in the late 20th century. We would all like to think it’s all made sort of democratically, but the fact of the matter is a lot of times it’s messy, and sometimes it could even be corrupt," said Dobrowsky.

Buddy Cianci’s nephew Brad Turchetta says the 2004 book portrayed his uncle unfairly. 

"It’s fair to say it’s certainly not my Uncle’s favorite. In fact if people came up to him and wanted him to sign it, he’d sign it upside down…So I don’t think he’s a big fan of what they’re doing now," said Turchetta.

Turchetta says he is not worried about any negative impact on buddy’s legacy.

"So just bear that in mind that this wasn’t by Buddy, and people loved Buddy and they wanted to hear what he had so say, so look at his book for that," said Turchetta, referring to Buddy’s book "Politics and Pasta."

Turchetta says he would be happy to talk to Trinity Rep as the play takes shape.

"We’re open if people want to talk and have a fair representation of my uncle. He clearly wasn’t an angel, but he wasn’t just a demon," said Turchetta.

Dobrowsky says he’s open to a conversation, too. 

Buddy’s trajectory is almost Shakespearean in a lot of ways. There are a lot of highs and a lot of lows. He did a lot of really good things and a lot of really bad things," said Dobrowsky. "I think that kind of dynamic will lend itself really well to the stage."

Turchetta points out that Buddy Cianci’s philanthropy continues to live on, with the Cianci Educational Foundation giving away $15,000 in scholarship money this year.

As for the play, there’s no official timeline yet, and it hasn’t been decided yet whether "The Prince of Providence" will be a musical or a play.

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