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QTIP closes one season as another approaches

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Theatre in the Park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park is home to a diverse array of grassroots productions playing throughout the year. Although the season is over look forward to more good productions in the fall.

The most recent production (which, unfortunately, just ended) was “Over the River and Through the Woods,” written by Joe DiPietro, a story of unconditional love, and letting go.

It centered on a young professional man (Adam Mastrelli as Nick Cristano) who keeps in very close touch with both of his close-knit Italian paternal and maternal grandparents who live on the same block in Hoboken, NJ.

Nick’s parents moved to Florida when he was younger, because of an allergy his father developed. But Nick was transferred back to the city by his employer, an ad agency. And so every Sunday he visits both of his grandparents at his father’s parents’ house (Lawrence Cioppa and Kathylee Hart as Frank and Aida Gianelli).

Nunzio and Emma Christano (Peter Coriaty and Suzi Myers), his mother’s parents, who are good friends with the Gianellis, come over to the house also. There, they sing, dance, and reminisce about old times.

But Nick’s job has given him a promotion which necessitates him moving to Seattle. The grandparents don’t want him to leave. They play matchmakers, inviting over an unmarried neighbor, Caitlin O’Hare (Suzi Meyers). When all else fails, the Gianellis consider telling Nick that Frank is dying of cancer and only has months to live, but in the end, they don’t, not wanting to burden him.

Superbly directed by Rob Urbinati and produced by the Emelin Theatre group, Thursday’s matinee performance had the audience in stitches, sniffles, and clapping their hands to Italian dancing music.

In the fall, look forward to four new productions. In October, “Oldfriends.com” stars Pat Caroll. The play revolves around two old friends who keep in touch through the Internet.

“Home,” playing in November and written by Samm-Art Williams, was originally produced by the Negro Ensemble Company in 1979. It is a coming of age story about a young black man from North Carolina whose spirituality shines throughout his life.

“Master Class,” beginning in March 2003, focuses on an aging diva who teaches at the Juilliard School of Theater in 1971. It has both comical and riveting moments.

“Dames at Sea,” starting next May, was voted best musical by a number of publications. It is a tap-dancing tribute to the 30s musicals.

Get your tickets early by calling the Theatre in the Park's box office at 760-0064 Tues.-Thurs. from noon to 6 p.m. Group rates are available.

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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