Who has not considered their own family to be dysfuctional at some time in their life? "A Night with the Family" allows us to view a typical American family on Christmas Eve with adult children back home visiting their now divorced parents.
This past weekend at the Omaha Playhouse, "A Night with the Family by playwright, Matthew Ivan Bennett, debuted for the world.
The story centers on Donny portrayed by Nick Zadina. Donny as an adult has just left his wife after an argument and flown back home forthe holidays. His father, Donald played by Dennis Collins, now has the large family home to himself and has even converted one of the bedrooms into a traditional sweat lodge. With few visitors, he now has his own style, being what is functional, not fashionable. His normal dress is boxer shorts, t-shirt, a women's robe, lime/purple socks, and bear claw slippers. Sometimes he also ties a sheepskin rug around his waste if needed. The living room also resembles his clothing with empty boxes scattered around.
By returning home, Donny regresses back to his childhood behavior of anxiety and asthma while his sister, Bree, portrayed by Suzanne Withem deals with her sick husband and children as well as attempting tostraighten out the men and the house.
Naturally, they are visited by their pristine mother, Diane, who brings along her new younger boyfriend who is a French-Canadian ballet dancer. Kim Jubenville portrays the mother with Matthew Pyle as the romantic andcompliant boyfriend, Antoine.
"A Night with the Family" is an adult comedy with characters who are sometimes bizarre but very realistic. This is not a show for
children. The interactions between the family members are revealing about their past lives together, insecurities, and accomplishments.With the anxiousness of Christmas and personal problems upon them, Donny has a melt-down revealing his father as being an enabler from past experiences. His mother is infatuated with her newest love, and Bree just attempts to be the adult constantly fixing and picking up the pieces to keep the family happy.
All the cast members were outstanding in their parts with the support crew excelling at being invisible but making the cast successful.
Suzanne Withem as Bree was wonderful as the "peace maker" sister,always attempting to moderate the problems. Nick Zadina as Donny
was delightful to watch with his frustration to almost being catatonic in dealing with his own personal issues. Dennis Collins as the eccentric father who doted on his son excelled as the hippie-quirky father. As Antoine, Matthew Pyle was dreamy in this compliant role of being the suave boyfriend. Kim Jubenville, as Diane, the divorced mother in her cougar mode, thrives as the overbearing ex-wife with new interests.
"A Night with the Family" will continue through May 12th with performances at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at (402) 553-0800 or online at www.OmahaPlayhouse.org or www.Ticket Omaha. com. Ticket costs are $40 for adults and $24 for students. Special group rates are available.
Be careful dropping by my house, I have a pair of purple and lime green socks that haven't been worn in years. They will look great with my t-shirt and shorts covered with my robe. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, I don't have a sheepskin rug, yet.