The Many Hats Theatre Co. debuts A Nice Family Gathering Nov. 9. Left to right, Andrew Knudsen, Carl, Jamie Eberle, Dad, and Rob McCaffery, Jerry. Submitted photo

Many Hats 50th show one of the funniest

Penticton theatre group presents the hilarious and heartfelt play, A Nice Family Gathering

The 50th will be one of the funniest and largest for Many Hats Theatre Company.

Thanksgiving might be well over but everyone will be able to relate to the newest production of the hilarious and heartfelt play A Nice Family Gathering opening Nov. 9.

The show marks a milestone for the co-op theatre company and one of the largest casts they’ve had on stage yet.

Written by Phil Olson, the play is set in the Lundeen home. The story unfolds when the family gets together to celebrate Thanksgiving for the first time since Dad, played by Jamie Eberle, passed away.

“It’s totally appropriate for the season. We missed Canadian Thanksgiving but Christmas is coming up. Everyone has that uncle that wants to argue politics and an aunt that just drinks a little too much scotch. There’s always that tension of being around people you only see two or three days a year,” said Ed Schneider, co-director of the production.

The mood of the play lifts quickly from sorrow to humour when Dad resurfaces as a ghost on Thanksgiving with a mission to tell his wife he loved her.

“Apparently 45 years wasn’t enough time to tell her,” Schneider said with a chuckle.

Dad first visits angst-filled middle child Carl played by Andrew Knudsen. Some audience members will know Knudsen from his day job as the drama teacher at Penticton High School or a similar role when he played a son in the play Mending Fences in 2016. Dad asks Carl to help him get a message to his grief stricken widow played by Eleanor Walker.

“Carl kind of responds with, ‘hey, wait a minute you never said I love you to me,’”Schneider said. “So there’s a funny back and forth exchange between them.”

Also visiting for the holiday is older and very successful brother Michael — a doctor, played Rob McCaffery. He brings along with him his emotional and status-focussed wife Jill played by Anita Reimer. Rounding out the family is wallflower little sister Stacy played by Dianna Zumpano-Gin.

“She garners all the laughs and steals the show by just sitting there and being the wallflower.”

Add into the mix that Mom, who’s getting on in years, is starting to have memory issues.

The only non-family member is Jerry, played by James Wood, who’s invited by the mom and could potentially become a love interest for the aging woman.

“Dad’s ghost does not think it’s a great idea at all. Pretty much it all goes down from there,” he said. “There’s just enough conflict between all the characters that it makes it hilarious to watch.”

Schneider said tickets are moving “briskly” for the show and anyone interested should snap up their tickets quickly.

Two open galas are scheduled. The first takes place opening night on Nov. 9 with the traditional wine from Play Estate Winery and cheese reception following the performance. On Fri., Nov. 10 the gala includes craft brews from the Cannery Brewing Company and door prizes from Minuteman Press. Tickets are $25 for adults and $22 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at The Nest and Nectar or by calling 250-493-7275.

Showtimes are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Just Posted

Kettle Valley Steam Railway holds train ride of terror

Summerland tourist train will have Halloween-themed events

Penticton Vees alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Ballet Kelowna to kick off 16th season with pair of premiers

Fresh off performances in Beijing and Toronto, company will perform at KCT Nov. 16 and 17

Man charged with attempted murder in Oliver back in court

Andrew Bradley Miller pleaded guilty to charges of resisting arrest and failure to appear in court

Bittersweet ending for Penticton soccer player with UBC-O Heat

Bret Depner was honoured at his last UBC-Okanagan Heat soccer game

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

Sonics strike silver at Maggie Mania

Junior boys volleyball tournament in Penticton

CFL playoff picture still muddled heading into weekend action

League revealed last week no fewer than 64 potential playoff permutations

New monitoring of vessel noise impact on endangered whales announced

Federal government to monitor underwater ship and mammal noise in B.C.’s Salish Sea

Most Read