"DON’T HUG ME, WE’RE FAMILY"
Book & Lyrics by Phil Olson
Music by Paul Olson
Directed by Doug Engalla
We are treated to a new DON’T HUG ME and returning to Bunyan Bay in northern Minnesota, “doncha know,” with the town hotspot, The Bunyan and the local radio statio KOLD, having been sold.
To make matters worse, Gunner’s radio show, “Crappie Talk,” has no listeners, and lost its most valuable sponsor, Kanute’s Bait Mart. The new owner, a New Yorker mobster type named Sal (Michael Cortez), has given Gunner one week and threatened to drop his show if Gunner can’t get listeners and sponsors.
Let's clear something up before we go further. “Crappie Talk” is pronounced Crawpy like the fish, not crappy, like the…. Now, onward. Clara (Truett Jean Butler) and Gunner (Andrew Carter) have separated. Clara has her own popular radio show, “Book Beat.” With the current friction between Clara and Gunner, her success doesn’t make their situation any easier. Aarvid (Micky Shiloah), Bernice (Allison Hawkstone) and Kanute (David Pluebell), locals in Bunyan Bay, share Gunner’s distress with the changes taking place, and do what they can to correct, or at times, just confuse the situation. Enter Donna (Christina Gardner) who is the hot ex-wife of Sal and who has just bought the local “Hotel and Lounge.” It appears that Sal has followed Donna to Bunyan Bay, bought KOLD, and plans to keep an eye on Donna. What could go wrong????
Now I know this sounds quite involved, but if you have ever seen a DON’T HUG ME play, you know how funny they can be, and how lovable and caring the residents of Bunyan Bay are. Phil Olson gives us another wonderful book and lyrics, with great music by brother Paul Olson. Direction by Doug Engalla is superb, and the cast is fantastic, comedic timing right-on, the songs and lyrics are memorable and will have your feet tapping, and Michele Bernath's choreography is great. Chris Winfield’s sets, which are always fantastic, are especially wonderful with all the kitsch of a remote northern Minnesota town bar.
It's here…"DON’T HUG ME, WE’RE FAMILY." Always funny, always great, always wonderful, and always thoroughly enjoyable.
Now is the time to have some fun and visit Bunyan Bay once more. I love the DON’T HUG ME series, and each and every one brings a smile to my face. LOVED IT!!! I’m looking forward to the next one.
Cast: Truett Jean Butler, Andrew Carter, Michael Cortez, Christina Gardner, Allison Hawkstone, David Pluebell and Micky Shiloah.
Director: Doug Engalla
Book & Lyrics: Phil Olson
Music: Paul Olson
Choreography: Michele Bernath
Stage Manager: Sashi Peterson
Set Construction: Chris Winfield
Associate Producer: Nancy Howland
Publicist: Nora Feldman
Production Assistant: Brittany Howland
Theatre Unlimited (T.U. Studios)
10943 Camarillo St (just east of Vineland)
North Hollywood, CA 91602
Tickets: donthugme.brownpapertickets.com or 818-850-9254
Admission: $24; Seniors & Students: $18 with ID; Group Rates available
Plays February 16th – March 25th. Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm. Sundays at 2:00 pm.
Entrance and Parking is behind the theatre in the parking lot, with additional street parking available. Please allow 15-20 minutes to park. Please note that on the show dates, there are signs that divide the parking lot behind the building, between the theatre and the building's residents. Audience members should not park beyond the signs, or they will be towed.