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'Over the River' brings familiar familial story to the stage

"Over the River and Through the Woods" is opening its doors to audiences Friday and will tell a family story that many people can relate to.

"This is a show about the love of a family and the sacrifice from generation to generation to give the younger generation more than the older generation ever had," said director Audrey Barger. "It's about technology changing in life - about the older generation that doesn't understand what the new generation is all about and what they do."

The story follows that of Nick Cristano, played by Chad McKenzie, and both sets of his grandparents in Hoboken, New Jersey. Nick is 29 years old and breaks the news to his Italian immigrant grandparents that he must make a decision that will take him away from them.

His grandparents fight back by finding reason for him to stay, namely, a girlfriend.

"Their values are so different," Barger said of the relationship between grandparents and grandson. "It's about loving them anyway."

Three first-time Montana Actors' Theatre performers are in the play and Barger said she is fairly excited for them and for opening night. She chose the play in the first place because she finds the characters so relatable.

"I love this show because I can identify with it," she said. "Everybody will identify with these characters and everybody will identify with these situations."

Tickets to the show are $15 per adult and $10 for students and seniors. Montana State University-Northern students with valid IDs get in free.

Showdates are this Friday and Saturday and April 9-11 and April 16-18. The doors at the MSU-N Little Theatre open at 7:30 p.m. so people can find their seats or attend the lounge. Showtime is 8 p.m.


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