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

Okanagan-Similkameen freshet looms large: district

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says property owners have window to prepare for flooding

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

Safety bylaw would require dust mitigation plans

Wood dust can be a fire danger even in small operations

Aspiring musician lends talent to help schools

Jessica Singleton to do a pair of benefit concerts for Carmi and Uplands

Penticton BMX geared up for the season on a new track

Penticton BMX Club getting ready to pedal on new track

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

Penticton students tackle dark themes in Oliver

Penticton Secondary School’s theatre program brings to the stage Oliver

Kamloops RCMP respond to report of dead body floating in Thompson River

Body has not been located, searches to continue as river conditions improve

Most Read