Wednesday August 23rd 2017

“Season’s Greetings”

Recommended The Holiday season is here and all of the classic entries are either playing or will be within a week or so. Northlight Theater in Skokie is bringing us a little different twist on Christmas with Alan Ayckbourn’s comical look at a very dysfunctional family, “Season’s Greetings” through December 18th. All of us know that the holiday season is one of stress in our lives; the shopping, the preparations and of course getting together with the family. In Ayckbourn’s Bunker Family ( not to be confused with Archie,Edith,Gloria and The “meathead”) we have a group of family members that, for the most part dread and hate the getting together for the Christmas Holiday.In typical English comedy style, under the clever direction of B.J.Jones on a masterful set by Keith Pitts, we have a group of characters who are brilliantly played by an ensemble of Chicago actors that one must agree, are some of the very best.

The cast is made up of :Harvey ( played to perfection by Rob Riley) the patriarch of the Bunker family, his daughter Phyllis ( Amy J. Carle, who truly shows her comic timing in this role),her  husband, Bernard ( Francis Guinan, who is the doddering fool). I must say that these are two of the strongest characters with the most laughs. Guinan’s puppet show is a stitch and worth the price of admission on its own. Other family members are Belinda ( the always reliable Heidi Kettenring who take son a little different type of role as the sex starved housewife) and her husband Neville ( Matt Schwader) who loves to tinker, but not with his wife. Belinda’s sister Rachel (smartly underplayed for balance by Ginger Lee McDermott) has invited a writer ,Clive ( deftly handled by Steve Haggard) in hopes of finding the evasive romance she is missing ,and friends, Eddie(John Byrnes) and his pregnant wife Pattie ( Maggie Kettering) are here for the holidays as well.

Clive does find romantic interest in Belinda as does she in him and all sorts of havoc and disaster break loose during this “abnormal” Christmas as misunderstandings, sexual innuendos, true inner feelings come out along with a little gunshot as well. This is not your typical holiday play and the situations in this farce as played by these wonderful actors under Jones’ direction is timed wonderfully and a laugh-filled escape from the reality of what we know are will face with the approaching “family get-togethers”, so why not take in a fun filled evening at Northlight Theatre with “Season’s Greeting” which will continue through December 18th with performances as follows:

 

Tuesdays ( except 11/19 and 12/13) at 7:30 p.m.,Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.(except 12/7),Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.,Fridays at 8 p.m.,Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.,Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. ( except for 12/4 and 12/18)

Tickets range from $25-$60 and are available at the box office located at 9501 Skokie Blvd, by phone at 847-673-6300 or online at www.northlight.org                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

There is plenty of free parking at Northlight, just south of Golf Road ( route 58) and Old Orchard Shopping Center.

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