Over the River and Through the Woods
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Jon McNally

Over the River and Through the Woods is the right title for Joe Di Pietro’s comedy, because, like the song, “it’s off to grandfather’s house we go.” This Italian-American playwright takes the audience on a touching comic journey to Nick Cristano’s (Ted D’Agostino) grandparent’s house. Though young Nick loves both sets of grandparents, they belong to a different era and quite often drive him a little crazy. But they love him with an undying love he knows he’ll never find anywhere else.

This entire play is a celebration of the foibles of family love and is a great form of entertainment for the entire family during this holiday season. Why is it that no matter how much we love our families, we can never accept them the way they are? Is it fear of looking into the future, joy of looking into the past or the exact reverse? Well, Di Pietro doesn’t even attempt to answer these questions, but by showing all the frustrations of a younger generation family member trying to accept his grandparents and them trying to accept him, it soon becomes clear that no matter what differences exist, love conquers all. But it’s the comic roller coaster ride of family trying to adapt to family that makes this drama so appealing.

With some of the best actors in the Bay Area – Michael Moerman, Mary Benson, Rudolf West and Phoebe Moyer – playing the grandparents and Linda Jones playing the girl they try to marry their grandson to, this is a professional production you won’t want to miss. It is a celebration of life that blossoms in this season of rebirth.

For tickets or more information call (925) 943-7469 or visit www.dlrca.org.

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