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'Sopranos' Actor Brancato Talks About Addiction At Ridgefield Playhouse

Actor Lillo Brancato will discuss his struggles with addiction at the Ridgefield Playhouse on March 23.
Actor Lillo Brancato will discuss his struggles with addiction at the Ridgefield Playhouse on March 23. Photo Credit: Contributed

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- Former actor Lillo Brancato shares his tale on how drugs and alcohol can destroy one’s life at The Ridgefield Playhouse on Wednesday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m.

The event, sponsored by the Ridgefield Prevention Council Family University and underwritten by an anonymous donor, Newport Academy and Silver Hill Hospital, is free and open to the public.

Brancato had a promising career. As a young actor he starred alongside Robert De Niro in the 1993 film "A Bronx Tale." He followed that up with roles in "Crimson Tide," and "Enemy of the State" and later in the Emmy Award-winning HBO series "The Sopranos," playing Matt Bevilaqua in six episodes.

But his promising acting career was lost due to his drug addiction. In 2013, Brancato was paroled after serving time in prison. In 2005, Brancato broke into a Bronx home looking for Valium with friend Steven Armento, who was also part of the Genovese crime family. Off-duty Officer Daniel Enchautegui confronted the two men after hearing the shattering of glass. Guns were drawn and Enchautegui was killed. Armento was accused of firing first.

During his time in prison, Brancato got clean and sober and decided to dedicate his life to helping others avoid that same path he had chosen.

The most important thing he gained from his time in prison "is the ability to get through hard times without the use of drugs," Brancato said.

Sober for nine years, Brancato focuses his efforts warning young people of the potential consequences of substance abuse. He’s accomplished this by appealing to all ages at countless pro bono appearances before New York, New Jersey and Connecticut groups and organizations.

Brancato’s no-nonsense, straight talk appeals to students in middle, high school, college and university levels, as well as substance abuse rehabilitation centers. This a cautionary tale of how drugs and alcohol can personally destroy one’s life. The event will be moderated by Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, Ira Joe Fisher.

Tickets are free for this event but must be reserved before the show. Please call the box office at 203-438-5795 , or visit ridgefieldplayhouse.org .

The Ridgefield Playhouse is located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield.

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