OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS at the Hampton Theater
‘Over the River and Through the Woods,’ a thunderous and heartwarming comedy from the Tony Award-winning playwright Joe Di Pietro (“Memphis”, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”) will be the first production of the Hampton Theater Companyof the 2022-2023 season, which begins October 20 at Quogue Community Hall and runs through November 6.
Set inside a suburban home in the not-too-distant past, “Over the River and Through the Woods” puts the concept of “tengo familia” to the test – an Italian phrase referring to the importance of “keeping family first” — through the eyes and opinions of two sets of passionate Italian-American grandparents and their beloved, albeit restless, 29-year-old grandson.
Nick Cristano may be living the life of a single young professional in New York, but his four grandparents – Frank and Aida Gianelli, and Nunzio and Emma Cristano – have never let him forget his place: in New Jersey with them, in a tenacious, tender, noisy and well-fed family. The comfortable status quo is turned upside down when Nick announces he’s been offered a big promotion…in Seattle. This explosive revelation leads his grandparents to hatch a code red plan to chart an irresistible alternate future designed to keep Nick close to home. At the center of this scheme is Caitlin, a surprise guest who just might turn the tide in favor of the oldies.
A loudly funny and touching story about intergenerational relationships, deep family love, and the inevitable little heartbreaks that come as time passes and children grow, “Over the River and Through the Woods” played 800 performances at the John Houseman theater in New York City from 1998 to 2000. The play was hailed by BackStage as “a hilarious family comedy that’s even funnier than [DiPietro’s] ‘I love you, you’re perfect, now switch.'” The Star-Ledger wrote that the piece is “laden with laughter every step of the way,” with YourObserver.com calling it “a crowd-pleasing evening of theatre”.
The HTC production of “Over the River and Through the Woods” features a spirited cast of six, including three HTC veterans: George A. Loizides (“On Golden Pond”, “Alarms & Excursions”) as Nunzio, Catherine Maloney (“Sylvia,” “A Tenor Comedy”) as Emma, and patrick osborne (“The Stranger”) as Nick. HTC newcomers include Amelia Chiaramonte as Aida, Carl DiModugno as Frank, and Meg Hrinkevich as Caitlin.
In addition to playing in the play, Georges Loizides (“A Doll’s House, Part 2”, “Native Gardens”, “Private Lives”) directs, with Roger Moley co-directing. The scenography is by M. Loizides; lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski; sound by Seamus Naughton; and costumes by Teresa Lebrun.
“Over the River and Through the Woods” will be presented from October 20 to November 6 on Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. An additional matinee performance will be offered on the last production weekend, Saturday, November 5, before the regular 8 p.m. performance that evening. A discussion with the actors will be offered to ticket holders immediately after the performance on Friday, October 28 in the evening.
Tickets are $36, $31 for seniors and $20 for students 25 and under, and are available on the Hampton Theater Company website at hamptontheatre.org or by calling 631-653-8955. A discounted season pass offer, applied to all three HTC productions in 2022-2023 with savings of up to 20%, is also available through the theater’s website or phone number.