Girl in the Hood

Calafiore in "Grimm Women."
Calafiore in "Grimm Women."
Posted: April 19, 2013

FOR ONE reality-TV star, it's time for some make-believe.

Monday, Briella Calafiore, of Style Network's "Jerseylicious" and "Glam Fairy" series, begins a two-week run at the Adrienne Theatre's Second Stage in "Grimm Women," playwright Brandon Monokian's contemporary - and somewhat twisted - take on some of the most beloved fairy tales of all time.

As the show's title implies, it focuses on female characters, including Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood, whom Calafiore portrays. But they are a far cry from the fictional folks beloved by children through the ages.

"I play Brandon's modern-day version of Red Riding Hood," said the 23-year-old cable-TV diva during a recent phone interview. "She goes by the name of 'Red.' She's awesome. She's bad-ass.

"She kind of goes through a lot of ups and downs. She has a few 'Britney [Spears] moments.' She shaved her head at one point. She filmed the first season of 'Celebrity Rehab.' She has had a crazy, crazy life."

"Crazy" is something of an understatement, based on the character's key plot point.

"What starts her Britney-like breakdown is that she gets into a fight with a guy in the woods on her way to her grandmother's house," explained Calafiore.

"The guy is dressed up in a wolf costume. She recognizes him because she saw him on 'America's Most Wanted,' and she realized that the guy was dressed up in a wolf's costume because he's into that 'furry' thing you hear about on 'Strange Sex.' He'd dress up in the wolf costume and kill young girls and their grandmothers and eat their flesh."

Yikes!

"Grimm Women" is not Calafiore's first stab at theater. As a youngster, she performed in numerous school plays, including "Beauty and the Beast," "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Wizard of Oz." "But," she offered, "I stopped to pursue hairdressing. (For the uninitiated, "Jerseylicious" is about the non-stop drama among staffers at a North Jersey beauty salon.)

"More recently," she continued, "I got back into the theater world thanks to Brandon. I did a production of 'The Vagina Monologues' [directed by Monokian] last year at Montclair State University, and that's how I got to know Brandon. He was kind of impressed with my performance, and he cast me in 'Grimm Women.' "

It didn't take long for Calafiore to suss out the difference between television and theater.

"I've been filming television since I was 19, so you get used to being able to do things over and over again - take one, take two, take three," she said. "The theater world is just so much different.

"You have one shot to get it right. And if you can't get it right in that one shot, you mess up in front of the [audience]. The pressure is higher, but it makes it fun."

Calafiore is also enjoying those who populate the theatrical universe. "The reality-TV world is very superficial, but the theater world is not as superficial as people may think," she said. "I've met really interesting people, very artistic people, fun people [who are] crazy just like me. The whole experience is just so fun and so different than my experience of the past couple of years. I'm really blessed. It's been a blast."

While Calafiore didn't rule out more stage work in the future, her first love remains the small screen.

"To be honest, my main goal is to have my own sitcom - something similar to 'Whitney' [starring Whitney Cummings]," she admitted. "I love her, I love her style, I love her sarcastic nature and how she's very raw and real and she's crazy and I relate to her a lot."


Adrienne Theatre, 2930 Sansom St., 7:30 p.m. Monday through April 27, April 30 through May 4, 2 p.m. April 28 and May 5, 215-567-2848, www. grimmwomen. brownpapertickets.com.

'Hair' today


 The late-1960s smash "Hair" gave birth to what is nowadays the rather commonplace "rock musical." But beyond its historical status, the show about the hippie culture during the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll "Age of Aquarius" boasts some of the best pop music of the era, including "Easy To Be Hard," "Good Morning Sunshine," "Aquarius" and, of course, the title song. "Hair" opens Friday and runs through May 11 at the Eagle Theatre in Hammonton, N.J.


Eagle Theatre, 203 Vine St., Hammonton, 8 p.m. April 26, and 27, May 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11, 3 p.m. April 28 and May 5, $30 and $25, 609-704-5012, theeagletheatre.com.

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