Sunday, July 4, 2010

Over The Tavern In Door County

Peninsula Players Opens 75th Anniversary Season with Tom Dudzick Comedy

By Russ Bickerstaff
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One of the longest standing traditions in Wisconsin theatre continues its 75th anniversary season this week with the opening of its second show of the summer. The Peninsula Players in Door Country present Tom Dudzick’s comedy Over The Tavern.

Set in the 1950’s, Over The Tavern is a family sitcom featuring a 12 year-old boy coming to terms with the Catholicism that he is being asked to accept. He believes God put humanity on the Earth to have fun. Sister Clarissa attempts to convince him otherwise as the boy goes through Catechism. Dudzick’s play is plays with relatively complicated characters in an era that was idealized in sanitized versions of family life from the era. The boy’s sister is suffering through as sexual awakening. His father is a physically and psychologically wounded man who sometimes lashes out at his own family. This isn’t Ozzie and Harriet or Father Knows Best. This is a comedy drawn from a far more contemporary understanding of the era.

The cast for the Peninsula Players production features quite a few Chicago-based actors including Neil Friedman and Karen Janes Woditsch as the parents and Peggy Roeder as Sister Clarissa.. The cast includes a few professional child actors as well. Zachary Keller plays the 12 year-old going through catechism. Andrew Kelts plays his older brother. Jessie Mueller plays the teenaged sister. All three have done a number of professional stage shows in the past.  The show is directd by Minnesota-based talent Kristine Thatcher. In the regular season, she serves as Arititic Director of the Stromfield theatre in East Lansing.

The Peninsula Players players’ production of Over The Tavern runs July 7th – 25th at the Plyers’ beautiful space in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. 

 

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