Anna Maria Island hosts family comedy

'Over the River' is proven family fare by co-writer of 'Memphis'

December 5, 2013 

From left, Katelyn Studer (Caitlin), Richard Austin (Nick), Miriam Ring (Aida), Jim Faltot (Nunzio), Cathy Hansel-Edgerton (Emma) and Joe Smith (Frank) in "Over the River and Through the Woods" at Island Players. PUBLICITY PHOTO

Joe DiPietro has written a lot of shows, but by far the best known are the musical "Memphis," which won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, the light-hearted revue "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" and the comedy "Over the River and Through the Woods."

The latter show is the next production from the Island Players. It opens today for a two-week run.

The story revolves around a single, Italian-American guy from New Jersey. His parents have retired and moved to Florida, but he sees both sets of his grandparents every week at Sunday dinner.

It's a great arrangement until he announces he's been offered a dream job as marketing executive. The job, unfortunately for all involved, is in Seattle, and would obviously take him away from his beloved albeit annoying grandparents.

The grandparents can't imagine life without their children and their grandsons, so they hatch a series of schemes, including introducing him to a beautiful young woman, designed to encourage him to stay in New Jersey.The show premiered in New York in 1998 and ran for 800 performances over a couple of years at the John Houseman Theater.

Details: Dec. 5-15, Island Players, 10009 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Show times: 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $20. Information: 941-778-5755,

-- Marty Clear

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