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Review: OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS at Hampton Theatre Company

Review: OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS at Hampton Theatre Company

Everyone in the cast is truly exceptional as is the clever creative team.

The Hampton Theater Company (HTC) does it again with their wonderful showing of Joe DiPietro's Over the River and Through the Woods now running through November 13th. Mostly done regionally, this show has been done Off-Broadway. In other words, it hasn't hit the Great White Way and this is why this fantastic theater company is so incredibly wonderful. The Quogue, Long Island, venue does plays that are (mostly) not often done and the devoted, enthusiastic audience absolutely loves it.

In this heart rendering tale, the first of HTC's amazing 37th season, we follow Nick, strongly portrayed Patrick C. Osbourne, a young bachelor businessman who lives in the New York metro area. Nick spends each Sunday with both sets of his grandparents who live near each other as his parents recently retired to Florida. When a promotion at work presents itself, Nick's ethnic Italian grandparents have a hard time accepting that Nick will be moving across the country. Hilarity ensues as the - shall we say - well-meaning grandparents scheme to keep him here.

Joining Mr. Osbourne, the six person cast is top-notch.

Among the Grandparents, Carl DiModugno portrays Frank and Amelia Chiaramonte portrays Aida. The story takes place entirely in their beautiful house. Excellently designed by George A. Loizides, the intimate stage is mostly the living room with a dining room to the side. Insidently, Frank built the house and this is a major focal point in the story: Family. Mr. Loizides also portrays Nunzio and serves as co-director with new HTC president Roger Moley. Catherine Maloney superbly portrays his wife, Emma. Everyone makes a great team and the audience roars with laughter as they portray your typical Italian grandparents. Aida says "Who's hungry" several times throughout the two act show. In fact, a scheme to entice Nick to stay is inviting Caitlin, excellently portrayed by Meg Hrinkevich, over to their Sunday dinner. Of course, this is where the grandparents lovingly embarrass Nick. They all truly make a brilliant company.

Indeed, everyone in the cast is truly exceptional as is the clever creative team.

Along with Mr. Loizides, HTC regulars Sebastian Paczynski, Seamus Naughton, and Teresa LeBrun return as the designers of the lighting, sound, and costumes, respectively. You will see how well all of these facets heighten each other. The visually stunning production also certainly shows the great talent of each of these artists as each complement each other well. Indeed, this is not a period piece as we are in the "recent past" as evidenced by Ms. LeBruns costumes.

And so, The Hampton Theatre Company's Over the River and Through the Woods is a great offering for this Winter season. This superb company serves quality productions time and time again and that is emphasized with this production. The beautiful East End in the Fall, a great story, and an exceptional cast make for a wonderful night of theatre.

Photo Credit: Tom Kochie


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