Review: Whistling Idiots hits the ground running with 'Over the River and Through the Woods'
Courtesy of M-Live - Published: Friday, September 27, 2013 8:47 PM
Pati LaLonde | MLive.com
BAY CITY, MI — Laughter, a few tears, an impromptu sing-along, ending with a standing ovation kicked off of third season opener at Whistling Idiots Comedy Dinner Theatre.
Under the direction of Sue Lombardo, a cast of Idiots veterans and newcomers kept the almost sold-out audience at “Over the River and Through the Woods” engaged throughout heartwarming comedy about an Italian-American New Jersey family whose life centers around family, faith and food.
Taking place in the Gianello home, where the family gathers for dinner every Sunday, the plot centers around grandson Nick who has been offered a job in far-off Seattle and his grandparents who want the status quo.
Written by Joe DiPietro, this play offers up a slice of life happening in dining rooms across the country.
The cast includes Shawn Finney as Nick; Jerry Lombardo playing opposite his wife Sue Lombardo, as Frank and Aida Gianello, respectively; Steve Steer and Carol Rumba as Nunzio; and Emma Cristano and Cassandra Honson as Caitlin O'Hare.
Scene-stealer for the evening is Jerry Lombardo playing Frank, giving a performance that is not only loud, but loveable as he ponders not only losing his grandson, but his car keys.
While Aida cooks, Emma attends church and brings Mass cards to all the gatherings.
While the grandparents pull out all the stops to keep Nick at home, it's the character of Nunzio who is keeping a secret that could well do the trick.
When the grandparents' meddling sends Nick to the hospital, he takes a look at what he has and what he will be giving up. Ah, the lesson to be learned.
Proving Aida isn't the only one who knows her way around the kitchen, the staff at Mornin' at Maggies serves a meal that any grandmother would be proud to serve.
Heading off the beaten path, Rod Nimtz and crew offered the audience an Italian meal of lasagna, veal-stuffed tortellini, chicken Parmesan, mussels and clams, steam vegetables and warm apple crisp for dessert.
All in all, the two-act, two-hour play came off without a hitch. The cast did so well, the audience joined them in a chorus, “Yes Sir That's My Baby” before offering up a standing O at the conclusion.
If you go
What: "Over the River and Through the Woods"
When: 6:30 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m. show Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 19
Where: Whistling Idiots Comedy Dinner Theatre
Tickets: $37 for adults, $34 for senior citizens, $20 show only
Info: 989-893-2000, Whistling Idiots