Possessing more than 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical development and oncology, Loretta Itri, MD, serves as executive vice president of The Medicines Company’s global health and regulatory affairs departments. Outside of her professional life, Loretta Itri, MD, enjoys going to the theater, and has tickets to see upcoming productions of King Lear, True West, and My Very Own British Invasion.
Performing its world premiere at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, just outside of New York City, My Very Own British Invasion is a romantic musical played out against the backdrop of the 1960s music scene. Based on the real-life experiences of musician Peter Noone of the pop band Herman’s Hermits, the show features more than 20 well-known hits spawned from the U.K.’s exporting of pop music to the U.S., known colloquially as “the British Invasion.”
The musical is directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell. Cast in the lead role of Peter is newcomer Jonny Amies, who is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association labor union. Making his professional theatrical debut in My Very Own British Invasion, Amies is a recent graduate of the Italia Conti Academy in London with a BA Honours in Acting.
An accomplished physician with a love of travel and the arts, Loretta Itri, MD, works at a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company as its Executive Vice President of Global Health Sciences and Regulatory Affairs. In her leisure time, Dr. Loretta Itri enjoys attending plays on and off Broadway.
An off-Broadway play can be as well-crafted, entertaining, and enriching as any production on Broadway. The general definition of an off-Broadway play is a small professional theater production that takes place off of the more commercialized Broadway circuit in New York City. Strictly speaking, the geographies of the two forms of theater are rather fluid – some “off-Broadway” theaters are situated inside the technical boundaries of the Broadway Theater District.
Off-Broadway plays typically have smaller budgets, but their scripts and staging are often more imaginative in style and content. While Broadway producers want to draw large mainstream audiences, off-Broadway venues attract audiences looking for plays that use experimental methods or that tackle serious or outside-the-mainstream themes.
With an extensive background in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Loretta Itri has been instrumental in the development of a number of commercial products. Having recently traveled to Paris, Dr. Loretta Itri has a passion for art and had the chance to take in a Musee D’Orsay exhibit that spanned Pablo Picasso’s Blue and Rose periods.
The emergence of Picasso’s Blue Period reflected the artist’s intense inner turmoil. Having moved from Spain to Paris in 1900 in search of more artistic freedom, Picasso lost a close friend in the young painter Carlos Casagemas to suicide the following year. This infamous event involved Casagemas shooting himself in the head in a Boulevard de Clichy cafe following an attempt on the life of his amour Germaine Pichot.
Creating paintings such as “La Vie” and “Casagemas in his Coffin” in the aftermath of this event, Picasso was sent into a personal depression that worsened on a trip back to Spain, which was fraying at the seams due to economic and social strife. Picasso’s new style broke from his Romanticist underpinnings and focused on those living on the edge and in poverty. Lasting for three years, the Blue Period was characterized by a lack of commercial success, even as Picasso set the imaginative groundwork for his later breakthroughs.
Loretta Itri is a respected presence in the global healthcare field who has guided the development of a number of innovative drugs. Passionate about the theater, Loretta Itri has taken in recent Broadway productions such as The Lifespan of a Fact and The Ferryman.
Earning critical plaudits from The New York Times, The Ferryman was directed by Sam Mendes and centers on a celebratory meal in Northern Ireland in the early 1980s. Combining tragedy, myth, and multigenerational bonds, the narrative artfully showcases 21 distinct voices that provide a sweeping and intimate look at a single family.
The rural drama explores the ways in which this family embodies a divided people who have been separated by the exigencies of politics, yet still retain strong familial connections. With the action confined to a single room in a farmhouse, the play has been described as akin to a James Joyce short story, in which the “eternal” and the mundane exist side by side.
Based in New Jersey, Loretta Itri, MD, is a pharmaceutical development executive and theatergoer who takes in a variety of Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Among the plays which Dr. Loretta Itri has seen recently are The Ferryman and Lifespan of a Fact.
Adapted from a 2003 magazine article and a 2012 book by Jim Fingal and John D’Agata, Lifespan of a Fact stars Daniel Radcliffe as the character of Fingal. A young intern at New York magazine, Fingal is assigned to factcheck a 15-page essay on a teenager who committed suicide at a resort in Las Vegas. The result is a 130-page series of questions, all arranged on a spreadsheet.
With artistic license taken with the original circumstances of the article, the play explores what the New York Times calls “a deteriorating ecosystem of knowledge” in which the societal and political implications are enormous. Both sides of a debate about the exact nature of the truth in an era of fake news are given a thorough, comedic outing in a play that leaves the audience with much to discuss after the curtain falls.
With an extensive background in pharmaceutical research and management, Loretta Itri has a passion for music and theater performances. Among the concerts Loretta Itri has been able to attend at Madison Square Garden in NYC and the Kings Theater in Brooklyn respectively are those by artists such as David Byrne and Paul Simon.
The latter artist recently appeared as part of his Homeward Bound Farewell Tour, which the legendary folk-rock pioneer and founding member of Simon and Garfunkel announced as his last. Each set in Simon’s tour, undertaken at the age of 77, has kicked off with a new arrangement of the expansive song “America,” which seems uniquely applicable to a country in search of new direction.
The lengthy concerts also included fan favorites such as “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover,” and “The Boxer.” Simon also included more obscure songs, including “Dazzling Blue,” from his critically lauded 2011 album So Beautiful or So What.
Highlights of the set involved Paul Simon delivering “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard”; a particularly poignant moment was Simon’s reclaiming of the ethereal “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” which he wrote and let his estranged musical partner Art Garfunkel take lead on in its original incarnation.
As executive vice president of global health sciences and regulatory affairs with the Medicines Company, Loretta Itri draws on extensive leadership experience in the medical industry. A world traveler, Loretta Itri recently toured Italy’s Puglia region, where she visited cities including Otranto. Featured in a Gothic novel titled The Castle of Otranto, by Horace Walpole, the city attracts visitors for its relaxing beaches and its history, particularly its cathedral.
The floor of the cathedral displays one of its best-known features: a spectacular mosaic of the tree of life carried on the backs of two elephants. Designed by the monk Pantaleone, the mosaic includes figures ranging from the patriarchs of the Old Testament to the signs of the zodiac.
The cathedral also houses a “Chapel of the Dead,” which showcases the bones of martyrs killed by the Turks in 1480 because they refused to deny their faith.