NEWBERRY — The Newberry Community Players’ dinner theater comedy “A Nice Family Gathering” opens today. The play takes a trip back to a Thanksgiving day with the Lundeen family. But, only one Thanksgiving is enough as the holiday brings out the “fun” in dysfunctional.
“Whether from the Deep South or the Midwest like the Lundeens in the play, we have all experienced dysfunctional family dynamics at one time or another,” said Director Bonnie Lyons. “My husband Mark and I saw another production of the play and as we were leaving, he said that our Newberry Players needed to present it because families can relate … especially guys.”
A lot of the humor in “A Nice Family Gathering” comes from the ghost of the deceased dad, played by Dr. Corey Hunt. The dad decides to haunt his family on the first Thanksgiving after his passing. He still needs to tell his family a few things. The running joke about the dad is that “He loved his wife so much, he almost told her.”
The only one who can see and hear him is Carl. The play focuses on the angst filled Thanksgiving Day of Carl, the middle son and small town journalist who supports himself by driving a Pillsbury truck. Carl, played by Joseph Schroer, deals with the unresolved sibling rivalry of his older and supposedly accomplished brother Dr. Michael Lundeen, played by Scott Senn.
Michael’s weepy wife doped up on fertility drugs (and maybe a glass of wine or two) is played by “Beamer” Bellows. The youngest sister Stacy, played by Hayley Hunt, is treated as the family afterthought, but probably has the biggest news of the day.
Veteran NCP actress Sandy Steffen plays Mom as well as producing the show. Mom’s date for the gathering, the ever so smooth talking Jerry, is played by Hugh Lister. The voice of the nosy neighbor, Mrs. Enquist, will be played by Deb Wells. “A Nice Family Gathering” proves to be a tumultuous, often hilarious, and always entertaining Thanksgiving Day.
The production will be presented as dinner theater at the Country Club of Newberry, 414 Country Club Road Feb. 22 and Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m. Goodies By Design will create the four course meal, which is included in the $40 ticket price. A cash bar will also be available.
Reservations are strongly recommended. Call the Newberry Opera House Box Office at 276-6264 for tickets or buy online at www.newberryoperahouse.com. A $1 per ticket surcharge and a $3 per order handling fee will be charged.
If you would like to join the players onstage next time, auditions for “Flash Gordon,” NCP’s upcoming readers theater production, will be held at The Ritz Theater located at 1511 Main St., Newberry on Feb. 17 and 18 at 6:30 p.m.