The Group Rep PRESENTS
A World Premiere Comedy
A NICE FAMILY CHRISTMAS
Written by Phil Olson
Directed by Doug Engalla
The 43rd Season at the Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre is turning out to be a HUGE winning season, and Phil Olson’s award-winning comedy, A NICE FAMILY CHRISTMAS, is giving us that comedic relief we need in this season of political stress. What a great evening of laughter.
This is not your typical family Christmas. Or is it…. Here we are deep in the heart of Minnesota, on Christmas Eve, and with a family gathering together to celebrate that special time of year. Now, we all have a relative that stands out of the crowd. That one relative that is special in ways that can be a challenge to what society thinks is normal. Well, here is a family with numerous relatives that have challenges. But are they so unusual? No they aren’t. They are just like all our families, and that’s where we can really identify with A NICE FAMILY CHRISTMAS.
Journalist Carl (Greg D. Barnett) is coming home to his recently widowed Mother (Belinda Howell) and wacky Grandma (hilariously funny Marcia Rodd) for Christmas. Carl has been asked by his paper to write an article on family traditions “Old and New”; plus he is conflicted that his girlfriend has “decided to take a break” from their relationship. Mom, as well as everyone else in the family, is partial to his brother Michael (Patrick Burke) who is a doctor. But Michael has his own issue and is vague about his marriage to Jill (Rebekah Dunn) who is desperate to have a baby. Stacey (Truett Jean Butler) is Carl and Michael’s sister. She tells Grandma she is gay and in love with her partner. Slightly perverted Uncle Bob (Fox Carney) turns up unannounced carrying a whiskey bottle making advances on Mom, and just about every other female in the family. What ensues is each family member revealing secrets, while Grandma is putting her “two cents” in at every opportunity. It is a laugh a minute, but at the same time heartwarming, and reminding us that family is most important.
Direction by the wonderfully creative Doug Engalla is precise with expert comedic timing by our troupe of actors who are all extremely talented. The usual perfect set design by Chris Winfield, with excellent lighting and sound adding to this successful production.
A NICE FAMILY CHRISTMAS received a First Place Winner at The McLaren Comedy Festival. Writer Phil Olson is well known for his 14 published plays with his hilariously funny “DON’T HUG ME” series most prominent, and most recently A NICE FAMILY GATHERING performed at Upstairs at the Group Rep black box theatre.
If you want to laugh for two wonderful hours, it would be a great idea to get yourself to the Lonny Chapman Theatre on Burbank Blvd to see A NICE FAMILY CHRISTMAS. It will be good for your mental health, as well as a great start to the 2016 Christmas season. Laughter is ALWAYS the best medicine? Enjoy yourself and have a wonderful, happy and healthy Holiday Season. Merry, Merry everybody.
Cast: Greg D. Barnett, Patrick Burke, Truett Jean Butler, Fox Carney, Rebekah Dunn, Belinda Howell, and Marcia Rodd
Director: Doug Engalla
Producer for the Group Rep: Alyson York
Assistant Director: Natalia Santamaria
Set Design: Chris Winfield
Light Design: J. Kent Inasy
Sound Design: Steve Shaw
Stage Manager: Jordan Hoxsie
Marketing: Cynthia Howe
Public Relations: Nora Feldman
Graphic Design: Doug Haverty, Art & Soul Design
Program: Alyson York
Lonny Chapman Theatre
10900 Burbank Blvd
North Hollywood 91601
Buy Tickets: www.thegrouprep.com or 818-763-5990
Performances: November 4th through December 18th, 2016
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm
Special Holiday Matinee, Friday, November 25th at 2 pm
Q & A Talkbacks after Sunday Matinee November 6th and December 4th
General Admission: $25; Seniors/Students: $20 with ID; Pre-Paid Parties of 10+: $15
Running Time: 2 Hours with One intermission.
Ages 10 and up.