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Over the River and Through the Woods

By Joe DiPietro
Directed by Tony Brown

Aurora Theatre will end its 15th Anniversary season with Over the River and Through the Woods by Tony Award-Winner Joe DiPietro. Just like the box office record-breaking hits Noises Off in 2008 and Boeing, Boeing in 2010, Aurora Theatre gives theatre patrons a chance to start their summer with a side-splitting comedy. In the heart of an Italian-American neighborhood in Hoboken, New Jersey, Sunday dinner at the Gianelli’s house is not to be missed. Nick is the only grandson, so when he is offered a promotion that will take him to the west coast, the family goes into panic mode and no amount of cooking can solve the problem. In this heartfelt comedy about growing old, one generation struggles to understand another.

Producing Artistic Director, Anthony Rodriguez talks about selecting the season finale for Aurora Theatre’s 15th Anniversary season: “In my job, I see a lot of theatre. So when a play stays with me years later, it’s special. I saw Over the River and Through the Woods in 2001. It amazed me how poignant and funny the relationship is between young adults and grandparents. I know this comedy will resonate with our audience as well.”

Aurora Theatre has the pleasure of welcoming some of the region’s most accomplished actors for Over the River and Through the Woods. Considered one of the pioneers of Atlanta theatre, Eddie Levi Lee (Frank Gianelli) recently returned to Atlanta after nineteen years in Seattle where he was artistic director of The Empty Space Theatre. Mr. Lee co-founded the Southern Theatre Conspiracy, served as artistic director of Theatrical Outfit and has enjoyed a performance career that has taken him from stage to screen and coast to coast.

Susan Shalhoub Larkin (Aida Gianelli) has been kicking around professional theatre in Atlanta for so long, she was part of the inception of The Center for Puppetry Arts and Georgia Ensemble Theatre, and has performed at Alliance Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, Theatre in the Square, as well as on Broadway. Ms. Larkin has made several appearances on television, but the most exciting appearance was guest starring in an episode of Monk with her brother Tony Shalhoub in the title role.

Karen Howell (Emma Cristano) has been acting professionally for over 30 years, and has been seen at Theatre in the Square, Alliance Theatre, ART Station, Horizon Theatre, as well as theatres all along the east coast and TX. Ms. Howell is a Suzi Award winner for Mt. Pleasant Homecoming, and recipient of the 2005 Spirit of Suzi Award for service to the local theatre community.

Barry Stoltze (Nunzo Cristano) has performed on Atlanta’s major stages for more than two decades, including; ART Station, Theatrical Outfit, Jewish Theatre of the South and Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Mr. Stoltze will sound very familiar to folks as he is the voice behind hundreds of commercials on television and radio.

The “youngsters” in the production are Jeremy Harrison (Nick Cristano) making his Aurora debut and Nicole Dramis (Caitlin O’Hare) whom audiences will remember from Aurora’s Singin in the Rain. This incredibly talented cast is under the direction of Tony Brown, a long-time company member of the Shakespeare Tavern and director for the past three years of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Aurora Theatre.



With additional support from

World Financial Group



Jeremy Harrison Nick Cristano
Eddie Levi Lee Frank Gianelli
Susan Shalhoub Larkin Aida Gianelli
Karen Howell Emma Cristano
Barry Stoltze Nunzio Cristano
Nicole Dramis Caitlin O’Hare

Pictured Above (left to right) Barry Stoltze, Karen Howell, Nicole Dramis & Jeremy Harrison

Photo by: Chris Bartelski