Cast members from Over the River and Through the Woods (from left) Ira Shorr, Angela Henry, Liam McDonald, Pam Miller and David Biltek bring hilarious and poignant family dynamics to the stage at Langham Court Theatre. Andrea Cross Photography

REVIEW: Langham Court’s latest marks a great beginning for new season

Over the River and Through the Woods family dynamics resonate with audience members

Sheila Martindale

Monday Magazine theatre reviewer

Langham Court Theatre’s production of Joe Dipietro’s autobiographical Over the River and Through the Woods is lovely – rich in humour and yet with a good dollop of pathos. It is brilliantly acted and directed skillfully by Jason Vikse.

Liam McDonald plays the role of Nick, a young professional with big ambitions and even bigger family ties. A promotion will take him to the other side of the United States, but telling his two sets of Italian-American grandparents about the imminent move proves very difficult. They are loud and argumentative and Nick finds it difficult to get them to stop and listen to what he has to say.

Ira Shorr, in the role of Nick’s paternal grandfather Nunzio, is quite droll, his favourite comments being “What the hell is that?” or “What the hell kind of question is that?” His wife, Emma, is charmingly portrayed by Angela Henry.

David Biltek and Pam Miller play Nick’s mother’s parents, Frank and Aida, whose home is the focal point for all the activity. She thinks feeding people enormous amounts of food is the answer to everything, while he is a victim of his own poverty-stricken youth.

The four grandparents carry on as stereotypical Italian immigrants do, with the actors’ precision timing making their ‘conversations’ hilarious. The sixth character, Caitlin, is well acted by Emily McFarland, and may well be the most complex character in the play. She has the dubious honour of being the decoy intended to keep Nick in New Jersey.

Carol-Anne Moore’s lighting is quite effective, especially in the amusing opening scene, and spotlighting characters who directly address the audience. Vikse created a beautiful and functional set with set decor specialist Ann Harris and carpenter Chris Clarke.

Over the River and Through the Woods is a great beginning to Langham Court’s new season, and an appetizer for more goodies to come. It runs until Oct. 12 and tickets may be obtained by visiting langhamtheatre.ca, by calling 250-384-2142 or by emailing boxoffice@langhamtheatre.ca.



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Live theatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria art gallery provides Open Space in an online way

View Chantal Gibson’s recent show on the web, hear Indigenous stories on Instagram starting Sunday

Victoria brewery throws support behind still-operating restaurants

Vancouver Island Brewing initiates #TakeOutTuesday to keep local eateries in the public eye

LIVE MUSIC: Artist in Residence reaching into the community

Kathryn Calder to perform livestream show on YouTube channel this Friday, April 3

Victoria vocalist Maria Manna reaches out to hard-hit Italy with special online song

Jazz singer to perform ‘Hymn to Freedom’ with Italian lyrics on Facebook at 2 p.m. Monday

Royal BC Museum joins home education trend for outreach programs

Free webinar options available for RBCM@Home and kids’ programs, starting March 31

Hip tradition sing-along planned again for Canadians April 2

The Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois is encouraging all to join him virtually in a’Porch Session.’

Vancouver Island musicians in quarantine thank neighbours with backyard performance

Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra director Karl Rainer and his sons play for those in self-isolation

Order of Canada Vancouver Island musician pens ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’

Qualicum Beach lawyer and saxophonist Phil Dwyer notes health officer has become a ‘folk hero’

Campbell River journalist launches Isolationpalooza II

Featuring all local musicians, a volunteer virtual concert, of sorts

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Netflix reducing video quality in Canada to lower Internet bandwidth use

Bell Media is also planning traffic measures affecting the Crave streaming service

Will the show go on? B.C. music festivals consider options for 2020

Summer events running out of time to stay on schedule, in wake of COVID-19 uncertainties

Most Read