Friday, October 14, 2011

- Theater Review - Over the River and Through the Woods

Peoria Players Theater opened their most recent offering last Friday night."Over the River and Through the Woods" is a small intimate comedy with a cast of six.

It is the story of a young second generation Italian-American and his relationship with his four grandparents. 

Nick Cristano (Jarod Hazzard) is a successful young businessman who dutifully visits his grandparents in Hoboken every Sunday for dinner.

His maternal grandparents Frank (Mark Atkisson) and Aida (Judy Tilley) host dinner and his paternal grandparents Nunzio (Mike Dentino) and Emma (Maureen O'Haenny) live nearby and always attend.

As the play begins, Nick has arrived for a rare mid-week visit to share some unwelcome news with his grandparents. 

Facing the crisis of turning 30,  Nick has decided to take a job promotion that will send him a continent away from his family (his parents have retired to Florida).

The grandparents begin plotting a scheme to keep their grandson near.  It involves fixing him up with Caitlin (Kerri Rae Hinman) a relative of Grandma Emma's canasta friend.

What ensues is a series of funny and tender events before Nick makes his final decision on whether to stay or go.

All the actors do a fine job with this piece.  Ms. O'Haenney does steal the show somewhat, but I cannot decide if it is due to her great timing and stage persona or simply that her character has some of the best lines.

In any event. what's not to like about six charming people in a light and endearing comedy?

The show runs through October 16th at the theater in Lakeview Park.


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