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Long Lake Theater begins 11th season

Want some cannolis? Meet the Gianellis and Cristanos in the family comedy "Over the River & Through the Woods," showing June 6-30 at Long Lake Theater. The cast of characters, from left, front, are played by Barbara Shaffer, Joe Finn-Bolling, Karen Welte; back row, Ed Bolton and Terry Wilmot.

Long Lake Theater opens for its 11th summer season Wednesday, June 6 with "Over the River & Through the Woods," a hilarious family comedy by Tony Award-winning playwright Joe DiPietro.

Nick Cristano (played by Joe Finn-Bolling), a single young guy from New Jersey, dutifully visits his loving and loony Italian- American grandparents for dinner every Sunday. Disaster strikes when Nick announces he's been offered his dream job - across the country. The four grandparents concoct a scheme that sets in a motion a deliciously funny chain of events that surprises them all.

Nick's doting grandparents are played by Edward Bolton, Barbara Shaffer, Karen Welte and Terry Wilmot, all of Park Rapids. Sarah Schultz makes a cameo appearance as Caitlin O'Hare.

"It is so much more than just your standard comedy," says Teresa Rankin, making her directorial debut at Long Lake Theater. Rankin is a Bemidji State University graduate. "Everyone knows and understands at least some part of this family's dynamic. Before long, you find yourself laughing, crying, mourning, and celebrating with these characters as you would with your own family."

Performances are at 3 p.m. Wednesdays and 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays from June 6-30, with a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, June 24.

To make reservations, call 732-0099 or visit Tickets are also available at Beagle Books in downtown Park Rapids or Sister Wolf Books in Dorset.

Ticket holders to this Wednesday's opening matinee are invited to a gala at Jewel of the Northwoods Bed &Breakfast following the show to mingle with the cast and enjoy light refreshments.