Calamari Sisters cook up musical show at Riverside

The Calamari Sisters

Failed dishes and food fights are featured in this live ”broadcast” of a public access cable cooking show hosted by Delphine and Carmela Calamari.

Cooking With The Calamari Sisters runs July 30 to Aug. 3 at Bristol Riverside Theatre.

The two larger-than-life sisters sing and dance to some of their Italian favorites like Volare, Come On A My House, That’s Amore, Mambo Italiano and others. And, of course, they’ll cook some of their favorite foods as they invite audience members to join them up on stage in their many moments of mayhem.

The “girls” grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and learned to cook from their grandma Minestrone.

“We still live in the same house,” Delphine tells us. “Grandma left it to us after she passed. Well, we were always singing and dancing and cooking, so that’s about the time we figured, why not do our own cooking show?”

So that’s exactly what they did.

“We combined our love of cooking and performing and came up with this show and others we’ve done throughout the year. But this one is the original,” said Delphine, the elder sister, who hesitates to give her age.

“You know you’re not supposed to ask a lady her age,” she scolds. ‘But I will tell you that I’m under 40 and so is Carmela.”

The sisters, who supposedly get along very well with an occasional squabble that can often be witnessed on stage, put this show together in 2009 and since then, said Delphine, have performed it more than 1,000 times.

“And even though we may quarrel from time to time, at the end of the day we have the best time working together. We are best friends in every way, and there’s no one else I’d rather be with, and I know Carmela feels the same way.”

On stage, the great time they are having shows as they cook pasta and their signature dish, chicken a la calamari. And even if the pasta sauce flies all over the place, they and their audience still seem to have a great time.

“In fact, my greatest joy is looking out at the audience and seeing them rubbing their cheeks and jaws because they’ve been laughing so much,” Delphine said. “It’s also great when they come up to us after the show to tell us how much we helped them get through some dark times in their lives. Sometimes, we all end up crying. Thank goodness for waterproof makeup.”

But some of the challenges they face while traveling and performing linger.

“For instance, when we have to travel by public transportation, the seats are too small. And sometimes on the road, when the sign says all-you-can-eat buffet, they lie if you actually try to do that.

“And, sometimes, people are just plain jealous of us, like that Rachael Ray,“ Delphine continued. “People should just accept their limitations. She’ll never be like us, but she’s got a good thing going.”

The Calamari Sisters are the brainchild of James Falzone (who plays Delphine), Dan Lavender (who is Carmela) and Stephen Smith. But don’t tell anyone! ••

For times and ticket information, call 215–785–0100.