NEW ULM – A production of the family comedy “Along the river and through the woods” arrives at the States Street Theater (SST) next weekend after a long wait.
Performances take place Friday October 8 at 7 p.m., Saturday October 9 at 7 p.m. and Sunday October 10 at 2 p.m.
The play tells the story of Nick (Tyler Brigger), an Italian-American bachelor from New Jersey. His parents have retired and moved to Florida, but he sees his two grandparents every Sunday for dinner.
Her grandparents are Frank Gianelli (Robert Docherty), Aida Gianelli (Michelle Gag), Numzio Cristano (Lee Zion) and Emma Cristano (Gwen Ruff).
Sunday dinner is part of his routine with his grandparents until he tells them he has been offered a dream job. The job he was waiting for – marketing manager – would take him away from his beloved, but boring grandparents.
His grandparents, fearing to lose their grandson, launch a series of ploys to keep Nick around. This includes bringing charming – and single – Caitlin O’Hare (Terrin Boozikee) to dinner as bait.
State Street production was originally slated for 2020. The cast began rehearsing in January 2020, but the pandemic has forced the delay.
Director Wendy Tuttle said most of the cast were able to return, but Lauren Curtis has moved in the year and a half since production began. Terrin Boozikee has since taken over the role of Caitlin and the production was happy to have her.
Tuttle praised the backstage team for making the whole show easy.
“It really is one of the funniest and most beautiful plays I have ever read” Tuttle said. “There is so much in it, it’s inspiring and uplifting.”
The play is set in New Jersey with an Italian-American family, but the family dynamic is universal. Nick’s main character is in conflict with his love for his grandparents, but at the same time is annoyed by their interference.
“This is where we come from, this is what we are” Tuttle said. “Everyone knows someone like that.”
Another unique aspect of the game is the food. Since the story takes place around family dinners, there is a lot of food eaten in the room. This means that the production has to prepare the food in advance, and the actors have to not only hit their lines, but also chew the food at the right time. It’s a difficult task, but the cast is prepared.
Advance tickets cost $ 12 and can be purchased at the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce, New Ulm Hy-Vee and online at StatestreetNEWULM.org. Tickets will also be available on the day of the show at the door at a cost of $ 15. Seniors Sunday is October 10 and seniors can purchase tickets at the door for $ 12.
Doors open 30 minutes before the performance and disabled seating is available. Disabled entry is through the backstage door of the Washington Street parking lot. Guests are reminded not to park in the parking lot behind the Emerson-Union Apartments. For more information, please email [email protected] or call 507-359-9990.