"A Nice Family Gathering," a poignant comedy by Phil Olson, will be performed Sept. 7-23 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. as well as Sundays at 2:30 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts.
This show won the Rochester Playwright Festival and the TRU New Voices Playwright Competition.
Originally produced in Los Angeles, it has been performed in over 120 locations in the U.S. and Canada. The show was the winner of the Eunice Players Annual Irving Awards as Best Play of the Season and an Inland Theater League Award Winner.
Olson has written "A Nice Family Christmas" and a series of "Don't Hug Me" musicals, including "Don't Hug Me," "Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol," "Don't Hug Me County Fair," and "Don't Hug Me, I'm Pregnant." Among his award-winning plays, seven take place in small towns in Minnesota. One of these is the current Phipps production.
The Lundeen family is gathering for the Thanksgiving feast, the first reunion since Dad died. Dad decides to attend, but only his son Carl can see his spirit. Dad wants Carl to tell Mrs. Lundeen that he loved her, since he failed to do so while alive. Son Michael has his own problems with his wife Jill's infertility and overspending. Daughter Stacy, ignored by everyone, announces her family secret, which results in her receiving the attention for which she has longed. On top of everything else, Mom decides to invite a date to dinner, the neighbor Jerry, and Dad is beside himself.
Tickets are $26 for adults and $19 for students of any age, with a $2 discount for seniors on the Sunday matinees. Reservations may be made by contacting The Phipps ticket office at 715-386-8409 or online at ThePhipps.org. The Phipps Center is 20 miles from St. Paul.
The Sunday, Sept. 23 matinee will be American sign language interpreted. Interested patrons should contact info@ThePhipps.org to make reservations.