You know the poem, or at least the first verse as popular a children’s song sung at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas—“Over the river, and through the wood,/to grandfather’s house we go…” Originally titled “The New England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day,” Lydia Maria Child’s poem recounts the bumpy sleigh ride to celebrate Thanksgiving with family, an almost unbearable trek for the youngsters, who eagerly await pumpkin pie and pudding.
In Joe DiPietro’s Over the River and Through the Woods, family-togetherness is, as in the poem, central. Revolving around Nick, a New York marketing manager who lives in New Jersey, and his four grandparents who he routinely visits for Sunday dinner, the family unit is thrown in flux when he is offered his dream job…in Seattle. Playing on the three F’s—family, faith and food—the grandparents, desperate to keep their little Nicky close to home, devise a plan to introduce him to “the unmarried niece of my canasta partner,” as one grandmother puts it, Caitlin. From there, the grandparents ensue to provoke a love match and keep wayward Nick rooted.
The play, at its core, revolves around the theme of togetherness and the generational shift on the dynamic of career vs. family. As the playwright puts it, “the biggest difference between these generations is their concept of family and home. Our grandparents believed that the family was central, and work is something you do just to provide for them. For our generation, it’s a lot more complicated.”
This heartwarming production will be brought to stage at the Delray Beach Playhouse from November 29 through December 14, and will have both younger and older audiences cheering for a love match come curtain.
- Showtimes: November 29-December 14
- Thursday and Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 and 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.
- Tickets cost $30.
- For more information, visit delraybeachplayhouse.com.