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

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

Just Posted

Abbamania, Night Fever in spotlight at McPherson in Victoria

ABBA, Bee Gees songs will fill the Mac Feb. 7, along with Lady Gaga tribute

Vic High alumni named Victoria’s new Youth Poet Laureate

Neko Smart, the founder and coach of the Vic High slam poetry team, will serve a one-year term

Dance Victoria: The Trocks are in town!

Dance Days 2020 performance roster includes two powerhouse presentations

Pacific Opera Victoria exec member earns major honour

Yvette Guigueno to attend prestigious OPERA America leadership program this month in New York

ALLAN REID: Like fresh food? Find it in Cook Street Village

Hawaiian-inspired Poke Fresh offers right raw food combination for Monday reviewer’s liking

Winners announced for inaugural Victoria Arts Council/Monday poetry contest

More than 100 entries received in five categories

Canadian polar bears’ ‘ingenious’ survival seen in BBC Earth series

Film crews also go to Tofino to watch black bears snap up crabs under massive boulders

Spring author’s reading series kicks off early in Sidney

Sidney and Peninsula Literary Society hosting Yasuko Thanh and Carla Funk for Feb. 7 event

The winners of London Drugs’ 2019 Amateur Photographer of the Year contest are…

After more than 26,000 entries, the winners have been selected across Western Canada.

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ filmmaker Dean DeBlois among Canadian Oscar nominees

Multiple Oscar-nominated Canadian talents on Academy Award hopefuls list

Most Read