Prince George's Little Theatre Presents OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS, Now thru 1/25

Prince George's Little Theatre will present the warm-hearted family comedy "Over the River and Through the Woods" at the Bowie Playhouse at White Marsh today, January 10 - 25. The performances today, January 10-11, 17-18, and 24 are at 8 p.m The Sunday January 12 and 19 performances and closing Saturday performance on January 25 are 2 p.m. matinees. Tickets are $20 ($15 for seniors and those 18 and under). For more information, call 301-937-7458.

The play centers around Nick (Brian McDermott) and his two sets of loving if sometimes overwhelming Italian immigrant grandparents, with whom he faithfully has dinner every Sunday. His maternal grandparents are Frank (Ken Kienas) and Aida (Lois De Vincent), who host the meals in their Hoboken, New Jersey, home. They are getting on in years - lately Frank has problems running into things with his car - but Aida is the kind of woman to whom everyone looks hungry, and these family meals are the center of their week. His other grandparents are Nunzio (John Shackelford) and Emma (Millie Ferrara), "the loudest people I've ever met," as Nick tells us. The four old-timers love to eat and talk and are always good for a story or a laugh. And in the course of "Over the River and Through the Woods," playwright Joe DiPietro gives us the story of each of them in their turn.

A potential disaster arrives (from the grandparents' point of view) when Nick announces that he has been offered his dream job across the country in Seattle. Since his parents have already moved away, the grandparents see Nick's announcement as a declaration of war, and immediately begin to counter it by fixing him up with Caitlin (Elizabeth Hair) at one of a series of wild dinner parties in hopes of tying him down.

Having left their own homes in Italy in their youths to make a better life for their families in the new world, Nick's grandparents do not see the mirror of their actions in Nick's desire for adventure and career advancement. Instead of the gain that draws Nick, they see only the loss of the grandson they adore. Although the play is at times devastatingly funny, it is also at times poignantly revealing of the conflict between a young man at the beginning of his adult life and the seniors who are at the other end of their own journey.

Joe DiPietro is a Manhattan-based playwright whose many productions include the long-running musical "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," and the 2010 Tony-award winning "Memphis." "Over the River and Through the Woods" opened on Broadway in 1998 and ran for 800 performances. The PGLT production is directed by Frank Pasqualino and produced by Roy Peterson.

Prince George's Little Theatre is the oldest continually active community theater in Prince George's County, having begun performing in 1960. Following "Over the River and Through the Woods," PGLT's fifty-third season will conclude with "The Fox on the Fairway" May 2-18.

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