Tom Troupe, a Caldwell Theatre veteran, returned to that Florida venue April 9 to appear in Joe DiPietro's gentle comedy, Over the River and Through the Woods. He'll be staying a little longer than anticipated, as the play has been extended two weeks and will now run through June 4. Officially opening April 14, the piece was to end its scheduled run May 21. Also featured are John D'Aquino, Lara MacGregor, Arland Russell, Harriet Oser and Elayne Wilks.
Over the River puts Italian-American Nick (D'Aquino) back in the hands of his grandparents, who, as much as they love him and want the best for him, drive him crazy with their efforts to get him what they think he wants. DiPietro wrote the book and lyrics to I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change and the play The Kiss at City Hall. He is currently at work on doing a "new" Gershwin musical, They All Laughed, as well as an Elvis Presley based revue.
Over the River celebrated its one-year anniversary Off-Broadway Oct. 5, 1999, and reached its 600th performance Sunday evening, March 12. Spokespersons for the show at Bill Evans & Associates note that DiPietro's comedy will reach eleven American cities and three foreign countries in the year ahead. San Diego's Old Globe Theatre is currently running a production of River through April 30.
Over the River concerns a grandson who gets career and dating advice from two sets of Italian-American grandparents. When writing the play, DiPietro drew on his relationships with his four grandparents.
Kenneth Kay directs the Florida Over the River and Through the Woods, with Tim Bennett contributing the set, Thomas Salzman the lighting, Steve Shapiro the sound and Penny Koleos Williams the costumes. Actor Troupe's Broadway credits include -- as standby for Charles Durning -- playing opposite Julie Harris in The Gin Game.
For tickets ($26-$37.50) and information on Over the River at Caldwell Theatre Company, 7873 North Federal Highway in Boca Raton call (561) 241-7432.
-- By David Lefkowitz