By Cherri Gregg

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A South Philadelphia theater is bringing the story of one of the city’s most divisive political figures to the stage.

Simply titled “RIZZO,” the production will tell the story of Frank “the Bambino” Rizzo, who rose from beat cop in the 40s to Police Commissioner in the 60s and then to City Hall in the 70s.

“It was a very turbulent time in the city and Rizzo was in the middle of everything that was happening good and bad,” says Joe Canuso — founding artistic director of Theatre Exile.

 

Joe Canuso, artistic director of Exile Theatre and director of 'RIZZO." (Credit: Cherri Gregg)

Joe Canuso, artistic director of Exile Theatre and director of ‘RIZZO.” (Credit: Cherri Gregg)

 

He says the play is based on best selling book “Rizzo: The Last Big Man in Big City America” by Sal Paolantonio. The play, written by Bruce Graham, explores the larger than life Rizzo during his 1991 campaign for mayor of Philadelphia, then flashes back to major moments in his life and the history of the city.

“Rizzo was the law and order cop and he became the law and order mayor,” says Canuso. “For some people it was a good thing. For those that were trying to change the status quo, he was the devil. But it makes for great drama.”

The play stars Philadelphia actor Scott Greer, who is nominated for a 2015 Barrymore Award.

Rizzo runs October 15 through November 8 at Christ Neighborhood House in Old CIty. For more, CLICK HERE.