There’s nothing foxier than an old fox. And not even an old fox can outsmart four old foxes.
Such is the premise for the comedy “Over the River and Through the Woods,” by Joe DiPietro, which opens Edge of the World Theatre’s 15th season at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7.
Nick Cristano is a rare person, a 35-year-old New Jersey man with not one, not two, but all four of his grandparents still living and vigorous, each of them close to 80 years old. And Nick visits them every Sunday for their traditional family dinner.
But it’s a tradition in danger, for their children and grandchildren have all drifted away. No matter how they’ve tried, their efforts to teach the values of keeping the family together have fallen on deaf ears. Nick’s parents moved long ago to Florida “for the humidity,” and Nick’s sister has moved to San Diego, taking their only great-grandson with her.
Everyone is gone, except Nick.
And now he tells them he too is leaving, for a minor job promotion — in Seattle. And finally, the grandparents have had it. They have stood by silently while everyone else deserted the family … well, this one isn’t getting away so easily.
So the oldsters hatch plot after harebrained plot to keep Nick from moving, each funnier and more devious than the last. And Nick is suddenly faced with the bewildering possibility that his sweet, doddering old grandparents are actually smarter and sneakier than the FBI and the Mafia put together.
Known for its reliable laugh-fests, Edge of the World makes no exception with this production, except to add an extra helping of “heart.”
“Oh, it’s funny, no doubt about that,” said director Michael Kelley. “But it’s a lot warmer than most, a more human tale. About family loyalty and what we owe those who are devoted to us.”
He added with a grin, “It’s also a show for anybody dumb enough to think they were smarter than their grandparents. And for all the grandparents who know different.”