Since starting my blog, I have been lucky enough to meet so many new and diverse people, both directly and indirectly involved in the Italian Canadian community. One of these people is the multi-talented Italian Comedian and Musician Enrico Rennella. I was intrigued by this funny man and I knew that I had to get the scoop on what makes his comedy stand apart from other Italian comedians. We met at a local café and I quickly learned that although he is an entertainer, that what you see, really is what you get. From his eccentric hairstyle, green stylish leather jacket and effervescent personality he expressed with the patrons and waitresses, to his story-telling, Neapolitan accent, and sense of humour, it all draws you right into his world.
With a Parisian mother and Neapolitan Father, Enrico is the perfect mix of Italian charm and romantic flare that jumps off the stage between his comedy and music routine. The stars must have been aligned for this funny man who was born on April 1st; no joke. He was born in Paris and at the age of 1 moved to Napoli where he grew up in a family of 7 siblings. It is no wonder he wanted to perform; in such a large family you have to do what you can to stand out. He began to realize his comedic appeal at the age of 6, performing in front of his family and by his teens this young entertainer began performing throughout Napoli. With a lack of opportunity, Enrico decided to pursue another passion; food. He became a chef and in his 20’s moved back to Paris to open a Neapolitan restaurant called Café Italia. Even with a successful restaurant, that inner passion to perform never left and the game changer for him was watching his idol on TV, Neapolitan singer Gigi D’Alessio, perform at Radio City Music Hall in New York City in 2011. It was then and there that he decided to pursue his dream; “if he could do it, so could I.”
So, who influenced this funny man? Well, according to Enrico, no one. Although he enjoys the comedy of Fiorello, Enrico prides himself on being his authentic self on stage and not like anyone else; “I want to be like me”. That is why he integrates his second love, music, into his performances; “I use music to make my comedy better”. After years of incorporating other people’s songs, he decided to pursue another desire and he has started creating his own music. But with a successful comedy career, why branch off? Well, for Enrico that is simple; music is passion “you can say something in music that you can’t say when you speak”. Enrico is now working with a well-known Neapolitan producer and is in the process of recording his first solo album with an expected release date in June 2018.
Today Enrico resides in Toronto, performing throughout Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and parts of Europe. Interested in checking out his comedy? I hope so, because his next Canadian performance is a charity show on March 16 at the City Playhouse Theatre in Thornhill. Partial proceeds from this event go to Shining Through Center in support of Smiles for Autism.
What’s next for this already accomplished performer? With a new album and the successful show, I’m Not Just an Italian, wrapping up, we are all excited to see what Enrico has in store for us. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak at his new show, The Italian Shades of Grey, opening in December 2018. This show will definitely be a change from his previous ones. His goal this time is to stretch the envelope and add some shock value to his comedy. A darker performance that is not to be missed! This big personality is also working on several other projects; so, don’t be surprised to see this multi-talented performer on the small screen too.
Enrico’s comedic charisma and passion for life is infectious. It is not often that you meet such a genuine person. So maybe the stars were aligned for me too; getting to interview such an amazing talent, fellow foodie and singer and having him share his story was such a pleasure and an inspiration to never give up on your dreams.
Tickets for any of Enrico Rennella’s shows can be purchased at:
A first generation Italian Canadian with a love for food and the Italian Lifestyle.