Once upon a time in a land known as Shadow Traffic Philadelphia where I was program director, I called an announcer meeting that contained seven announcers who were all of Italian descent. Before we could get around to talking business, the conversation turned into the old gravy vs sauce argument.

I say potato, you say potahto, I say tomato, you say tomahto. but if you take that Jersey tomato and puree it with spices and add some meat, what exactly are you making?

Where I come from in Union City, we called it gravy and we put it over macaroni. Some would say sauce over pasta but really what do they know?

Mae Mu Unsplash
Mae Mu Unsplash
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Lorraine Ranalli, one of the announcers in that meeting, knows and she put that knowledge in a book called "Gravy Wars." The book was so successful that it has now become the inspiration of a play called "La Famiglia."

La Famiglia Flyer
La Famiglia Flyer
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"Gravy Wars is a humorous book about Italian-American culture — traditions, superstitions, and idiosyncrasies. 'La Famiglia' brings the book to life, featuring moment-in-time snapshots of the fictional Scamorza family and their antics," she said.

Lorraine Ranalli Photo
Lorraine Ranalli Photo
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The stage show is a series of vignettes author Lorraine Ranalli began writing in 2009 to promote her book.

After a successful run at The Blue Moon Theatre in Woodstown, La Famiglia is now coming dinner theater-style to St. Mary of the Lakes School in Medford Jan. 8 and 9.

Loraine Ranalli Photo
Loraine Ranalli Photo
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Active parishioner/actress Natalie Stone plays one of the leads. The Jan. 8 & 9 run also features Stone's husband in the role of Sal Scamorza, her character's father.

Loraine Ranalli Photo
Loraine Ranalli Photo
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Dinner will be catered by Illiano Cucina Mediterranea. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite. Proceeds benefit St. Mary's School and the Knights of Columbus.

To get tickets for "La Famiglia" click HERE.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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