Islander John Palladino will appear as a recurring guest star in season five of the Netflix series Orange is the New Black (OITNB), premiering June 9. The series is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison (2010), which follows her experiences at FCI Danbury, a minimum-security federal prison in Connecticut.
On the show, Palladino plays Josh Scanlon, a public relations representative for the corporation that runs a group of correctional facilities, including the one where the series is set. He says, “My character’s goal is to spin everything in favor of the corporation despite trouble in one of the prisons. I play corporate scum.”
Palladino’s character was introduced at the end of season four. He says, “If you want to have any idea of what’s going on in season five, you need to watch season four.”
OITNB has been praised for humanizing prisoners and for its depiction of race, sexuality, gender, and body types. It has also won accolades, including 16 Emmy Award nominations and four wins. It was the first series to receive Emmy nominations in both comedy and drama categories. It received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. The series has also received six Writers Guild of America Award nominations, five Satellite Awards, four Critics’ Choice Television Awards, a GLAAD Media Award, an American Cinema Editors Award, a Producers Guild of America Award, and a Peabody Award.
If you can’t wait until June 9 for OITNB, you can also see Palladino perform at Carnegie Hall on June 3. He is performing with the Eco-Music Big Band, characterized by Palladino as “an avant-garde jazz band that focuses on doing pieces that are counter to the powers that be – an activist jazz group.”
They will be performing Jazz Stravinsky, a jazz re-imagining of Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat (A Soldier’s Tale). Palladino translated the piece from French and set it in modern times. He says, “I took the skeleton of the story, put it in today’s time, and retranslated it into a modern version. It is a story about a musician-soldier who comes back from war, and he’s so broke that he trades his trumpet to the devil in exchange for unlimited financial wealth, but loses his soul in the process.”
Palladino sees the piece as very relevant to today, “the soullessness that it takes to be one of those people at the top, drinking champagne while using the masses.”
Additionally, the Eco-Music Big Band is performing an opera for which Palladino wrote the libretto, called Eight Songs For a Drag Queen. Palladino says it is an homage to Sir Peter Maxwell Davies who wrote Eight Songs For a Mad King. “The opera is about a man trying to accept himself and his sexuality,” explains Palladino. Buy your tickets at https://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/
John Palladino is also the head coach at the Palladino Academy of Soccer on the Island.