Programs for 2018-2019

All programs are offered free of charge by the Dorothea van Dyke McLane Association to anyone in the community with an interest in Italian culture.

Doors open at 4:45 pm. Seating is limited. Due to fire regulations, when seating capacity has been reached we regret that we may have to turn people away from that evening’s program.

Programs are followed by informal get-togethers where one can chat with old and new friends, and taste dishes and offerings brought by participants.


There is no reception after a movie, however a few people usually get together at a local restaurant or coffee shop. All movies are in Italian with English subtitles.

In case of cancellation of a program due to inclement weather or unexpected reasons, please check this Web site or call Dorothea's House for information.

click here for a pdf of the printed program, which includes an Italian translation

and here for a pdf printable on letter size paper.



Programs 2018-2019

Sunday, October 7, 5:00 pm
It's never too late - Adult literacy and Educational Television in 1960s Italy:

Program has been cancelled, substituted with the film "La bellezza del somaro"

Directed by Sergio Castellitto, 2010, 96 minutes.

Successful architect Marcello (Sergio Castellitto) has just about everything one could desire: a fine career; a beautiful wife, Marina (Laura Morante), who herself is a successful professional; good friends and a marvelous home in the country. Then one weekend, his daughter comes home with a new boyfriend in tow... Working once again with his wife, the hugely popular novelist Margaret Mazzantini, Castellitto offers a wry updating of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, exploring what may be one of our last social taboos in a dissection of Italy’s liberal elite that’s as amusing as it is perceptive.

In Italian with English Subtitles - 1 Hour and 47 minutes


Image result for la bellezza del somaro



Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 3 PM Cinema

the place 2017

Directed by Paolo Genovesi

Director Genovese has created another gripping, minimalist moral thriller, like Perfetti Sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers) shown at Dorothea's House in 2017.

"the place" is the name of a diner where a nameless, enigmatic man (Valerio Mastandrea) sits at a corner table, receiving visitor after visitor. They tell him of their profoundest wishes and desires, and he assures them they can have exactly what they want . . . but there will be a price. The extreme deeds they must perform will lead them to question who they are and to what lengths they will go. This film premiered at the New Italian Cinema 2018 film festival in New York


Rating: NR

Running time about 101 minutes

in Italian with English subtitles, released in Italy in 2017



Sunday, November. 4, 5:00 pm
Maria Taglioni and the Transformation of Ballet

The embodiment of romanticism in ballet, 19th century Italian ballerina Maria Taglioni is forever associated with La Sylphide. Princeton University Professor Simon Morrison will describe her training, her elevation to the status of prima ballerina in Paris and elsewhere, her major roles, and the liberation she represented, and still represents, for aspiring ballerinas. The lecture will include images and video clips.


Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 3 PM - Cinema

In guerra per amore (At War For Love) 2016

Directed by Pier Francesco Diliberto

This film from the writer-director-star Pierfrancesco Diliberto, better known as the popular entertainer/TV personality"PIF" offers a little something for everyone: broad slapstick, swooning romance, childlike wonder, a Mob drama, dueling Mussolini-vs.-Madonna statues, and the unforgettable sight of a man singlehandedly saving the day by flying into Sicily on a donkey. It's also a throwback to the sort of raucous comedies that Italy used to export in bulk - a whimsical, ironic story of a charming dolt, a beautiful girl, and love, Italian style. The year is 1943; the Allies are preparing to invade Southern Italy and loosen Mussolini's fascist hold on the country. Meanwhile, a bumbling waiter named Arturo (Pif) is in love with Flora (Miriam Leone). She will be married off to a Mafia chieftain's son unless Arturo can ask her father for her hand...but Dad lives in Sicily. So, our hapless hero joins the Army to find him, only to be recruited on a mission involving a soldier who is carrying sensitive information in the region. Thus, begins a wild romp, complete with cameos from FDR, Lucky Luciano, and a host of other historical figures.


Rating: NR
Running time about 99 minutes
Directed by PIF
In Italian with English Subtitles
Released in Italy in 2016

Sunday, December 2, 6:00 pm (note change in time from printed program)
Christmas with Bagpipes:
Join us for a musical journey in Southern Italy with one of the most fascinating instruments of the Italian musical culture, the Zampogna, or bagpipes. Antonello DiMatteo and Charlie Rutan, members of the Zampognari di Filadelphia, will give a lecture on this traditional Italian instrument, performing music to accompany the historical references.


Sunday, January 6, 5:00 pm
Polenta Festa:
It's that time of year again when Dorothea's House flings open its doors to the polenta-loving public. In the past, visitors have shared numerous variations of the humble cornmeal dish, from polenta with lentils to polenta with sausage. Bring your contribution piping hot, since oven space is limited.


Sunday January 27, 2019 at 3 PM - Cinema

La stoffa dei sogni
(The Stuff Of Dreams) 2016

Directed by Gianfranco Cabiddu

La stoffa dei sogni (The Stuff Of Dreams)

A fateful shipwreck casts a group of convicted Camorra criminals and a handful of itinerant actors on a prison-island, where the embittered warden lives with his young daughter Miranda. When the gangsters infiltrate the theatrical troupe, the warden commands the head of the company to stage a performance of Shakespeare's The Tempest, as a way to distinguish the thespians from the miscreants.

Director Gianfranco Cabiddu creates an intriguing comedy that mirrors the plot of The Tempest and transports the audience and the prisoners via the magic of theater. Amidst a stunning pristine landscape, evocative of Mediterranean colors and scents, a simple stage offers the performers the chance to transcend their personal wretched lives and touch a deeper dimension of their characters.

Based on Eduardo De Filippo The Art Of Comedy and his translation of The Tempest, Cabiddu's work invites reflections on the universal themes of guilt, revenge, redemption, and forgiveness. The budding romance between one of the criminals and the warden's daughter is part of this profoundly human drama. The cinematography of the island of Asinara is spectacular. Winner of the Davide di Donatello for Best Adapted Screenplay.


Sunday, February 10, 5:00 pm (The second Sunday of the month instead of the first. )

Florence in Italian Cinema: Florence has served as a starring character in countless films, from horror to period dramas. The city has become an iconic symbol of Italy itself across the world. Francesco Pascuzzi, who teaches at Rutgers University, will discuss some of the foremost cinematic portrayals of Florence in Italian and foreign film.

Sunday, February 24, 3:00 pm

Renowned restauranteur, TV personality and author Lidia Bastianich will appear at Dorothea's House on Feb. 24, 2019 at 3 p.m. to talk about her biography, "My American Dream."

Tickets to the event, which include a copy of the book, are $75.00 and seats are limited. Proceeds to benefit scholarship fund. Please send a check, made out to "Dorothea's House" to Eleanor Pinelli, 143 Mountain Ave, Princeton, NJ. 08540. Also include your name, address, email and telephone number. Tickets are limited, and are first come, first serve, and will be sold according to postmark date on envelope when received.


From the best-selling cookbook author, beloved and award-winning television personality, and hugely successful restaurateur–a heartwarming, emotional, revelatory memoir told with all her hallmark warmth and gusto.

Lidia's story begins with her upbringing in Pula, a formerly Italian city turned Yugoslavian under Tito's communist regime. She enjoys a childhood surrounded by love and security–despite the family's poverty–learning everything about Italian cooking from her beloved grandmother, Nonna Rosa. When the communist regime begins investigating the family, they flee to Trieste, Italy, where they spend two years in a refugee camp waiting for visas to enter the United States–an experience that will shape Lidia for the rest of her life. At age 12, Lidia starts a new life in New York. She soon begins working in restaurants as a young teenager, the first step toward the creation of her own American dream. And she tells in great, vivid detail the fulfillment of that dream: her close-knit family, her dedication and endless passion for food that ultimately leads to multiple restaurants, many cookbooks, and twenty years on public television as the host of her own cooking show. An absolute must-have for the millions of Lidia fans.



Sunday, March 3, 5:00 pm

Palcoscenico Fragile - Italy Upends the World Stage: Italian politics may be colorful at home, but since 1945 Italy has taken pains not to ruffle feathers abroad. That's changing. International affairs analyst Jeffrey Laurenti will be our guide to current governmental shifts and where Italy stands on the world stage.


Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 3 PM

Lasciati andare (Let Yourself Go) 2017

Directed by Francesco Amato

Lasciati andare (Let yourself go) is a classic example of an Italian screwball comedy.

There's the older, more affluent and educated Elia (Toni Servillo), and the pretty young screwball Claudia (Verónica Echegui) who challenges his masculinity, social status, and general sense of well being, leading him on a merry chase around Rome that changes his life. It is about a Jewish psychoanalyst who lives and works in the Roman ghetto. He is separated from his wife Giovanna (Carla Signoris) but they remain close and live next door to each other. 

Settled into a stodgy, predictable existence, his comfort level is disrupted when his doctor tells him he'd better get in shape, or else, and so he joins a gym. As Elia struggles to get acclimated to the high-energy world of modern fitness centers, he hires young trainer Claudia to get him up to speed.
Claudia's life is…complicated…and getting Elia in shape becomes increasingly important as they are running from young thug Ettore (Luca Marinelli), who hid some stolen property and can't remember where. 




Sunday, April 7, 5:00 pm
Only in Naples:
The story of an American author's journey to the heart of Neapolitan life. Through courtship, culture clashes, and most of all the preparation and consumption of food with her mother-in-law, Katherine Wilson learns to embrace the Neapolitan approach to life. Goethe said "See Naples and then die." Katherine Wilson saw Naples and started to live.


Sunday, May 5, 6:00 pm (please note change of time)
Mozzarella and Burrata Making
: Learn how these specialty Italian cheeses are made in a demonstration and hands-on class at Dorothea's House. Olsson's Fine Foods in Princeton will show how curds are transformed into milky mozzarella, and how luscious burrata is created with a thin skin of mozzarella stuffed with a creamy filling. Be prepared to get messy.



Past Programs at
Dorothea's House


PDF Versions of past programs:


2017-2018 Programs

2016-2017 Programs

2015-2016 Programs

2014-2015 Programs

2013-2014 Programs

2012-2013 Programs

2011-2012 Programs

2010-2011 Programs

2009-2010 Programs

2008-2009 Programs

2007-2008 Programs

2006-2007 Programs

2005-2006 Programs

2004-2005 Programs



Feb. - Dreyden Ensemble performs Italian baroque music on period instruments

April - Anne Leader talks about the Orange Cloister at the Badia Fiorentina

May - A Pirandellian evening with students from Princeton University

Lidia Bastianich


Feb. - Fundraiser with restaurateur and cookbook author Lidia Bastianich
Click here for Princeton Packet article

April - Evening of poetry from Loretta Casalaina and Maria Fama

May - Wine tasting from Tony Prospero of Prospero Winery in Pleasantville, N.Y.


Feb. - Chemist Felix Buccellato lectures on Italian citrus oils used in perfume

May - Metropolitan Opera conductor Gildo DiNunzio on backstage musical effects

Oct. - Bloomfield mandolin orchestra presents Italian music and sing-along

Philadelphia folk dance group "Ballerini e Voci d'Italia"

Tony Prospero of Prospero Winery


April - Metropolitan Opera prompter Jane Klaviter on secrets below the stage

May - Local artists display paintings, sculpture

Dec. - Folkdance group from Philadelphia "Ballerini e Voci d'Italia"


March - Concert by flutist Claire Durand Racamato and pianist Marianne Lauffer

May - Photographer Holly Smith Pedlosky captures intimacies in Venice

Nov. - Lecture on paper making in Fabriano by Raffaele Roncalli



April - Italian author Gina Lagorio recounts her experiences as a writer

Nov. - 15th Century Florence lecture by art historian Elena Welm

Dec. - A portrait of Verdi's Violetta by Metropolitan Opera conductor Joseph Colaneri



April - Mozzarella making demonstration

Nov. - Maria LoBiondo upholds tradition of Italian story-telling

Dec. - Lecture on Leonardo Sciascia by Strathclyde University's Professor Joseph Farrell


Jan. - Sister Margherita Marchione introduces her book "Yours is a Precious Witness"

April - Facts and fiction about olives and olive oil by Clo Treves and Milena Troiano

Nov. - Lecture on Trevi Fountain history by Professor John Pinto


Feb. - A Dante evening with Professor Robert Hollander

April - Robert Browning in Italy - lecture by Lillian Mariano Chance

Oct. - Inspired by Italy watercolors by Marge Chavooshian

Chris Tamasi giving a cooking demonstration in 1994


March - Italian general consul and lawyer from Stark & Stark on legal issues

Oct. - Lecture on Italians in New Jersey by Professor Remigio Pane

Nov. - Lecture on Italians in Princeton by Robert Immordino and Ciro Poppiti


Feb. - Venice during Carnevale lecture and slides by Carla Olsen

March - Giuseppe Verdi comes to Dorothea's House by way of Eduardo Mangella

Nov. - Gardens of Villa Lante slide show and lecture by architect Kevin Wilkes


Jan. - Lecture by Professor Pietro Frassica on letters to Pirandello by Marta Abba

Feb. - Boheme Opera Company's Sandra Pucciatti on insider's guide to opera

Nov. - Italian baroque music by Westminster choir group and Nancy Perella


Jan. - Architect Michael Mostoller lectures on Palladio

April - Traditional pig roast

May - Professor Lucy Nardella talks about Siena's Palio


Feb. - Operatic performance by singers of the Boheme Opera Company

March - An armchair tour of the Dolomite region

Oct. - DeFranco family and Calabrian folk music and dancing


Jan. - Lecture on the Etruscans by Professor Maria Teresa Moevs

April - Slide show and talk on Molise and Pettoranello by Antonio Pirone

May - Italian folkdancing with the Montclair Folk Group


Oct. - Dorothea's House 75th Anniversary Celebration

March - Renaissance Rome lecture by Professor Laurie Nussdorfer

Nov. - Lecture on operas of Mascagni by Alan Mallach


Jan. - Lecture on Sicily by Professor Pietro Frassica and Dr. Frank Campo

Feb. - Carnevale celebration

Oct. - Italian Fashion show and historical lecture by Rene Battaglia


Jan. - Architect Fred Travisano gives lecture on Italian hill town architecture

May - Concert by cellist Gino Treves and string quartet

Oct. - Villa Banfi wine-tasting; Bob Freda demonstrates home wine-making


Oct. - Wine tasting program

Nov. - Italian movie "Tre Fratelli"

Dec. - Prosciutto making demonstration by Dominic Tamasi