Arts & Entertainment

‘Over the River and Through the Woods’ Runs Gamut from Banter to Pathos

SUMMIT, NJ – There’s something about Joe DiPietro’s “Over the River and Through the Woods” that makes it appealing to directors and audiences, certainly in this immediate area.
Last year The Bickford Theatre in Morristown did the play and this year it’s on stage at The Summit Playhouse.  The Summit audience obviously fell in love with the show, with laughter and tears in equal measure.
There are certainly enough twists and turns in this script to take the audience by surprise.  It seems that Nick, in a volatile performance by Scott Tyler, has been offered a promotion in Seattle. He has been visiting his two sets of grandparents every Sunday in Hoboken for most of his 29 years. His parents moved to Florida, so he is the last generational link to the older crowd.
The cast is excellent, without overdoing the mannerisms that would turn them into stereotypes. James Broderick as Nunzio Cristano is affable and especially hilarious in his attempts at Trivial Pursuit. After a number of diversions, he gets the answer. His wife, Emma, is played by Margurite Wurtz.They’ve been married 55 years and still have much joy in each other, often reminiscing about Perillo tours. Frank and Aida Gianelli are the other set of grandparents. Nancy Lee Ryan as Aida thinks that food is the solution to everything, so constantly interrupts conversations to present a little cheese sandwich or some Danish. Arnold J. Buchiane as Frank still wants to drive, even though he’s a menace on the highway. Caitlin O’Hare is the lovely potential girlfriend, played by Wendy Schibener. The grandparents are conspiring, reasoning if Nick falls in love with her, he’ll never move to Seattle.

Timing is everything in comedy and this cast plays off each other beautifully.  Nick’s over the top frustration towards the end of Act I had the audience shouting and cheering.
At any rate, all this comes together with warmth and affection, which is probably why this play works so well. Director Julia Frieri keeps it all moving along. Rhoda Roper has designed a lovely, homey set with fading wallpaper and arched doorways, just the sort of place you’d never want to leave. Aida proudly notes that Frank built the house for her. Nancy Davies provides costumes that reflect  the personalities for the flamboyant Cristanos and the more settled Gianellis.  It’s a running joke about how hot the house is, with the grandparents wearing sweaters in June.
“Over the River and through the Woods:” continues at The Summit Playhouse, 10 New England Avenue in Summit through May 12. For a lovely, touching comedy with a heart, you really can’t go wrong by taking in this tribute to family and tradition. Call 908-273-2192 or visit for tickets.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Thu, May 24, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Ages 1-5 yrs.: Spanish Storytime

Arts & Entertainment Education


Thu, May 24, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Spanish Storytime

Arts & Entertainment Education

Summit Police Blotter

May 17, 2018

4/24 - At 0728 hours a report was taken for a theft of two (2) sandwiches from a business on Morris Avenue. The manager reported that at approximately 0330 hours a male entered the business and removed two sandwiches from a refrigerated case. After doing so, he exited the store without paying for them. The male suspect was described as Hispanic, approximately 6’0”wearing a blue/gray ...

Video: Point View's Dietze Reviews Investment Strategies as Trade Tensions with China Calm

May 23, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, live on FOX Business on investment strategies in the wake of the thawing of Chinese trade tensions.

For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio ...

Video: Point View's Petrides Talks Current Events That Could Be Market Movers

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live on CNBC discussing events that could move the market this week:

​​​For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and comprehensive ...

Stocks Can Rise in a Rising Interest Rate Environment

Investors remain concerned about the potential impact of higher interest rates on stocks. In their most recently released minutes, the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee indicated the US economy is on solid footing and the economic conditions warrant continued gradual increasing of interest rates. This set off a sale in the stock and bond markets as investors began pricing in a fourth ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


Managing the Ups and Downs of First-Time Homebuying

They accepted our offer, now what?

At times both equally exhilarating and terrifying, the purchase of a home can be a total roller coaster ride -- especially when it is your first time going through the process. Between suddenly being expected to understand the intricacies of contracts and the inner workings of a home, you are also expected to start writing checks for amounts you may ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...