Hilarity ensues when two sets of loving, but overbearing, Italian-American grandparents become determined to keep their grandson from moving to Seattle. Theatre Artists Studio captures all of the love, pain and laughter of "Tengo Familia - The Family" in Joe DiPietro's Over the River and Through the Woods.
Set in Hoboken, New Jersey, Over the River depicts the inevitable conflicts that occur between generations and proves that family life can be chaotic, compassionate, but most of all - funny! When 29-year-old Nick announces that he's been offered a job promotion out of state, his grandparents are stunned. While other close family members have left New Jersey, up to now Nick has remained close by and devoted to his grandparents. Why would he want to leave his family now? With each elaborate and hysterical scheme they concoct to keep him close, Nick's decision becomes more complicated . . . and comical.
"Over the River joins a long line of American 'coming of age' stories, such as O'Neill's Ah Wilderness! and Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs," notes director Pamela Fields. "What it makes it unique, however, is that it deals with a later adult passage of becoming 30, that frightening age that screams that you really are an adult now and therefore must take on grown-up responsibilities and make mature decisions."
The cast all agree that family is at the heart of the story. "Over the River is about family loyalty and devotion and how those values can become obstacles when a family member needs to break away. I think everyone who sees this show will be touched by how close it hits to home," observEd Scott Hyder, who takes on the role of the conflicted Nick. Shana Rebilas Bousard (Caitlin) remarked that "this family is so close that they drive each other crazy, but all is said and done in the name of love, and that's the kind of family you want on your side. It's Moonstruck, My Big Fat Greek Wedding and All in the Family rolled into one!"
Judy Rollings (Grandma Emma) reflects that "Over the River speaks to me as the young woman I once was, and as the Grandmother I am today." Bob Barr, Michael Fleck and Dolores D'Amore Goldsmith round out the cast as the remaining grandparents.
Theatre Artists Studio presents Over the River and Through the Woods, a family show suitable for all ages, from January 18 through February 3. Performances run Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. (Note: the January 19 performance is SOLD OUT.)
Tickets are $20 General Admission, $10 for students age 25 and under and $15 for groups of 10 or more, seniors age 65 and over and members of the military (both active and retired).
To obtain tickets, call 602-765-0120 or visit www.thestudiophx.org.