A new movie of the comedy is soon to commence filming, with Ben Gazzara, Kaye Ballard, Lainie Kazan and Anthony Franciosa in the cast. Richard Benjamin will direct. Over the River closed Sept. 3, 2000, after 800 performances at the John Houseman Theatre.
The warm comedy about a grandson and his relationship with his four demonstrative Italian American grandparents played 20 previews before starting its regular run in 1998. It had an initial, formative staging at The Belmont Italian American Playhouse in April 1994. It was also heard at the 1994 Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center.
The play takes place in the Hoboken home of the Gianelli grandparents, where Nick Cristano, a rising New Jersey executive, faithfully enjoys traditional Sunday meals with his two sets of grandparents—until an employment opportunity threatens to take Nick away from them. Their solution? Get Nick a family of his own to keep him from leaving.
Ballard appeared in the original production.