The comedy about growing up Catholic in the 1950's, which runs June 30 - July12 at the Mountain Playhouse, is just what the doctor ordered for summer fun. Set in Buffalo, New York, Over the Tavern takes us back to the Eisenhower era of the 1950's and introduces us to the Pazinski family (Mom, Dad and their four children: Eddie, Annie, Georgie and the hero of the tale, 12-year-old Rudy) who live over the bar they own.
Rudy is a smart, wisecracking kid who is starting to question family values and the Roman Catholic Church. Rudy matches wits at school with Sister Clarissa over his catechism lessons and at home with his parents over blind acceptance of the teachings of the church. (He believes God put us on earth to have fun and he can't understand why his family isn't having any!) Throw in a sister suffering through the confusion of sexual awakenings, a rebellious older brother and a mentally challenged younger brother and you have the makings of a heartwarming play filled with hilarity. Producer Teresa Stoughton Marafino rates the show PG.
The play is written by Tom Dudzik who is often referred to by theatre critics as "the Catholic Neil Simon." His semi-autobiographical comedies have played successfully in theatres from New York to Los Angeles. Guy Stroman directs the show. Last summer at the Mountain Playhouse, Guy directed Stand by Your Man and Glorious and this season directs three shows including Honus & Me, Over the Tavern, and September's production of The Glass Menagerie which stars his producing partner, Sandy Duncan.
Pittsburgh's Barbara Russell adds one more character role to her long career playing the formidable Sister Clarissa. Russell is well known to Pittsburgh audiences as the comedy partner with the late Don Brockett (Brockett and Barbara). She has worked at the City Theatre, Theatre at Hartwood, Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Musical Theatre, and the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre. Russell made her Mountain Playhouse debut in 1960 and most recently played Miss Young in Honus & Me.
Noah Adam Harchelroad, who is making his Mountain Playhouse debut, plays the precocious Rudy. Harchelroad is a Fox Chapel resident and just completed the eighth grade at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh.
Mary Ehlinger returns to play Rudy's mother, Ellen, and Nick Ruggeri continues with his 17th consecutive season playing his father, Chet. Jeffrey Correia plays older brother, Eddie.
Elise Toscano (Annie) and Ryan Glover (Georgie) are making their Playhouse debuts. Toscano is currently in her fourth year at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and finishing her BFA in Drama from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts (both in New York City). Glover is a freshman at Westmont Hilltop High School in Johnstown where he has experience as a solo performer singing, acting, and competitive public speaking.
The June 30 opening night performance will be followed by a reception at Green Gables Restaurant. All audience members are invited to attend to visit with the cast and crew.
Sunday Talk Back
In what has become a relatively recent addition to the Mountain Playhouse, the audience is invited to stay for a casual conversation with the actors and Producer following the first Sunday matinee of each show. The Sunday Talk Back for Over the Tavern will be held on Sunday, June 30.
Following Over the Tavern (June 30-July 12), the Mountain Playhouse season continues with The Pajama Game (July 14- August 2), Lend Me a Tenor (August 4-16), Bubba's Revenge (August 18-30), The Glass Menagerie (September 15-27), Sister Strikes Again!: Late Nite Catechism 2 (September 30-October 11).
The Mountain Playhouse, which opened in 1939, is Pennsylvania's oldest professional summer theater. Annually, The Playhouse sponsors the International Comedy Playwriting contest that helps encourage and develop new comedy for theater. The Mountain Playhouse is located next door to Green Gables Restaurant in Jennerstown on Route 985, one-half mile north of the historic Lincoln Highway (Route 30). For information call 814-629-9201 or visit the website at www.MountainPlayhouse.org.