Chapel Hill, NC-based OdysseyStage community theater will present Joe DiPietro’s delightful Off-Broadway comedy, Over the River and Through the Woods, March 14-21 in The Robert E. Seymour Theatre (behind Squid’s and Burger King) in the Galleria Shopping Center. Walter Herz will direct a cast that includes Alan Criswell, Jeremy McCamic, Carol Oleson, Farrell Reynolds, Barb Turino, and Lauren Walker.

Playwright Joe DiPietro, who has been called the Italian-American Neil Simon, focuses on family ties in Over the River. When up-and-coming New Jersey-based advertising executive Nick Cristano is offered his dream job, which involves moving to Seattle, it causes consternation in his close-knit Italian-American family. Both sets of Nick’s loving but meddling grandparents vehemently oppose the cross-country move.

According to Dramatists Play Service, Inc., “Nick is a single, Italian-American guy from New Jersey. His parents retired and moved to Florida. That doesn’t mean his family isn’t still in Jersey. In fact, he sees both sets of his grandparents every Sunday for dinner. This is routine until he has to tell them that he’s been offered a dream job. The job he’s been waiting for marketing executive would take him away from his beloved, but annoying, grandparents. He tells them. The news doesn’t sit so well. Thus begins a series of schemes to keep Nick around. How could he betray his family’s love to move to Seattle, for a job, wonder his grandparents? Well, Frank, Aida, Nunzio, and Emma do their level best, and that includes bringing to dinner the lovely and single Caitlin O’Hara as bait [to convince Nick to stay].”

The Newark, NJ, Star-Ledger claims Over the River is “loaded with laughs every step of the way.” And BackStage Magazine characterizes the show as “a hilarious family comedy that is even funnier than [Joe DiPietro’s] long-running musical revue I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.”

OdysseyStage presents Over the River and Through the Woods Friday-Saturday, March 12-13 and 19-20, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 14 and 21, at 3 p.m. in The Robert E. Seymour Theatre (behind Squid’s and Burger King) in the Galleria Shopping Center, 400 S. Elliot Rd., Chapel Hill, North Carolina. $10 ($8 students and seniors) evenings and $5 matinees. 919/490-1828 or e-mail OdysseyStage: