Tough Guys: Anthony J. Gallo & Michael Romeo Rocco


Robert Liebowitz’ revival of some of his more recognized works has become a revival of sorts with numerous actors from his original productions returning for this occasion… some as far back as 1985.
THREE BITES OF THE APPLE, three plays plus two readings, will run October 19 – 30; Wednesday – Saturday @ 8:00 p.m.; Sundays @ 3:00 p.m. performing where it all began at The American Theatre of Actors, 314 W 54th St, New York City. Email for tickets and additional information.
Coulda Woulda Shoulda – Liebowitz’s flagship play, celebrated with awards and a legit off-Broadway contract run in 1997, depicts the last few weeks in the life of degenerate gambler Allie Neiterman. A character based on his father. For this, Liebowitz brought back Tommy Sturges, Michael Ruocco, Ted Montuori, and most recently, Jay Michaels, who served as the director and co-producer of the 1996 off-Broadway run.
Robert Liebowitz is known for dark drama… and that takes a particular kind of actor.
Anthony Gallo and Michael Romeo Rocco share some thoughts about their art.

We hear a lot about inspiration – or Muse – that drives an artist. What inspires you?

Anthony: Creating, defining and becoming the character

Michael: People inspire me. Everyday I am amazed by the smallest hint of intention, action, desire, and flaw that people embody on the daily, usually without them even realizing it. This is the magic we try to capture and present onstage or on film. People.

Tell us about your play … 

Anthony: These are characters that people will remember and empathize with.

Michael: I am working on it because I believe Robert Liebowitz to be a man who knows what he wants to say. And there are so few of us who know what we want to say.

What do you want most in your chosen profession? It’s OK to say “fame” or “wealth.”

Michael: Stability, of course. But most of all; respect. I don’t need mansions in three different countries or my face on a billboard in Times Square to know I’ve made it. What I desire is the ability to pay my rent and support a family. I want others in this profession to look at me and say, “Oh, Mike Ruocco. Sure, I’d love to work with him.” That’s all I can ask.

Sally Field and Paul Newman both said of their profession… “it’s all I can do.” Is this all you can do?

Anthony: No, there are many things I can do.

Michael: If there was anything else I could do, I’d be doing it already.

Along those lines, if you couldn’t so this, what would you do?

Anthony: I would become a History teacher. I love history.

Michael: I would be a meteorologist. And not one of those knuckleheads on the 6 o’ clock news who always predict the weather incorrectly. A real meteorologist. One who actually studies the weather, and its patterns. From a young age I was always fascinated by the weather. Hurricanes, tornadoes; these forces of nature that we’ve no way to combat or control. I think the weather humbles us as human beings.

How do you want legit history to remember you?

Anthony: As an intelligent person, who respects other people and loves his family

Last words? 

Michael: Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind. And tell your parents that you love them.

Anthony: I wish I would’ve had more time.



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