“One man’s life, many people’s experiences;” This is how Paul Failla, acclaimed public speaker, professional actor and author, describes “The Class of Life,” a one-person show and theatrical experience that he will present at 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, at St. Theresa Parish Hall, 1107 Commercial Way in Spring Hill. This grand showcase of drama, music and comedy is presented by the Sons and Daughters of Italy Una Famiglia Lodge #2882, as a fundraiser for the Hernando County Sheriff’s Charities.
“’The Class of Life’ is a theatrical experience that takes the audience on a journey that highlights one man’s life,” explained a synopsis. “The story begins on the last day of his distinguished career as a police officer. This day gives way to reminiscing about his motivation to become a police officer, his proud Italian heritage, upbringing, and his married life. Utilizing a blend of humor, drama, song, dance, and life experience, the actor takes his audience on an emotional roller coaster through stories relating to all.”
In telling his life story, Failla draws upon personal experiences to tell a tale and impart messages that he sees as universal. “This presentation is for all those who value family, tradition and comedy, and after seeing this show, I hope that audience members go home and tell someone that they love them,” he said.
Paul D. Failla, a retired twenty-seven-year veteran of the Suffolk County Police Department in New York, has developed an array of public safety educational programs relating to character education, violence reduction, tolerance, human diversity, and driver’s safety awareness. He is the author of the book Life: 101. Also a seasoned actor who has performed in more than forty-five regional theater productions, off-Broadway shows, and three feature films, Failla presents the two-act play “The Class of Life” as the culminating masterwork of his career.
“This show is in its 12th year and has been performed 140 times across the nation,” said Failla, a member of the Screen Actors Guild. “I’m honored to present it for the Sons and Daughters of Italy and on behalf of Hernando County Sheriff’s Charities. They have a great purpose. Also, as I am Italian in heritage, these people are my pride and joy. They are wonderful people.”
Failla also hopes that each viewer who takes “The Class of Life” will ‘graduate’ with a better sense of self. “This is a show to which all human beings can relate,” he said.
One big fan of this show is Annmarie Guadagnino, president of Sons and Daughters of Italy Una Famiglia Lodge #2882.
“I’ve seen this show several times and loved it,” she said. “It’s also the perfect show for our club, especially as we raise money for the Hernando County Sheriff’s Charities.”
Guadagnino says that a portion of funds raised from this performance will be earmarked, particularly for the Sheriff Charities’ YES program. Youth Education Services is a nonprofit organization formed to develop programs for the charitable and educational benefit of young people.
“This is part of our community outreach at the lodge,” said Guadagnino. “We also give scholarships to the American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s and autism charities, and host dances to benefit the scholarship program. On Jan. 20, we’ll host a free dinner for veterans.”
Doors for “The Class of Life” open at 5 p.m.; showtime is at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30, which includes refreshments and dessert.
To purchase tickets, please call Annmarie Guadagnino at 352-650-1768.
“This, and everything we do,” said Guadagnino, “is for the community.”