'Squabbles' reveals love, pain underneath
By Cynthia Bombach Helzel
Published: Friday, July 19, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
It's a family dilemma worthy of Dear Abby: A young couple with a three-bedroom home is preparing for the arrival of their first child when the wife's father and the husband's mother both move in and begin to bicker over who should stay. Someone has to go, and it won't be the baby!
The tale of intergenerational living forms the plot of “Squabbles,” a play opening July 23 at Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown.
The comedy — and the squabbles — take place in the home of happily married couple Jerry and Alice Sloan. Alice's argumentative father, Abe Dreyfus, is living with the Sloans when the couple finds out they are expecting a baby. To further complicate matters, Jerry's mother, Mildred, is forced to move in because her house burned down. When Abe and Mildred begin to bicker, the Sloans' domestic bliss is turned on its head with comic results.
“What the play is really about is the Sandwich Generation,” says Teresa Marafino, Mountain Playhouse executive producer. She found that the theme appeals to the theater's audiences after last year's successful run of ‘Alone Together,' a play about the reverse situation of adult children moving in with their parents.
“It's a situation many people can relate to. “(The play) has a lot of appeal for older as well as younger theatergoers, particularly those who are having to deal with in-laws,” director Chan Harris say.
John Little plays Abe Dreyfus, a former New York cab driver who has lost his wife after 40 years of marriage. Abe prefers to live with his daughter rather than go into a retirement home. However, he has taken over the room intended for the baby, and he tries to goad Jerry into arguments.
Abe enjoys arguing for its own sake.
“For Abe, it becomes a game,” Little says. “He considers it a health regimen.”
When Mildred moves in, she and Abe bicker constantly.
“Part of their battles are territorial,” Little says. “Mildred is coming and he has to move out of his room. She's taking his room and taking his TV. It's a big adjustment for everybody.”
Little believes that audiences of all ages will enjoy the play, especially the comedic quarrels between Abe and Mildred. “It's done in a very lighthearted manner,” he says. “It brings you to the edge of disaster and then it has a happy ending.”
Celeste Mancinelli plays Abe's nemesis Mildred Sloan.
“She has a caustic, biting humor,” Mancinelli says. “A very tough exterior is what the world sees, but there's a tenderness and sentimentality underneath.”
Rounding out the cast are Martin Landry as Jerry Sloan, Lisa Riegel as Alice Sloan, Joe Joyce as handyman Hector Lopez and Caroline Shannon as the baby's nanny, Mrs. Fisher.
Cynthia Bombach Helzel is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Highlands students eager to stuff a bus with Toys for Tots
- Spending increase benefits Frazer police
- Kovacevic: Enough of these Steelers already
- 5 vehicle crashes reported on wintry day in the Alle-Kiski Valley
- Apollo Elks reopens after reaching agreement with national organization
- McKeesport boys split pair of tournament games
- Motorists caught in Highland Park Bridge bottleneck
- Penguins’ Orpik out; Neal to have phone hearing
- High school roundup: Connellsville girls basketball team gets 1st victory
- Mt. Pleasant boys hope to get up and down the court this season
- Penguins players are not out looking for fights