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Another set of grandparents

South Boston News
Danville’s Jane Reid and Steve Petrick make their Halifax County Little Theatre debut in “Over the River and Through the Woods,” which opens Friday at 7:30 p.m. at The Prizery. This family comedy is both touching and hilarious and is guaranteed to warm the theatre on a cold night. Bring your friends and some tissues. Tickets are on sale at 572-8339 or at / February 16, 2015
In plays about family, the characters usually fall into two types. They are either so wonderfully supportive that they can help solve any problem merely with emotional support and caring, or they’re so outlandishly funny that they make any problem magically disappear. In Halifax County Little Theatre’s latest production, the family’s oldest members fall into both categories. These two sets of grandparents have lost all of their children and grandchildren to faraway places except their youngest grandchild, Nick.

The family is thrown into turmoil by the announcement that Nick will be leaving the family community of Hoboken, New Jersey, for a promotion that will take him to Seattle, three thousand miles away. The ensuing battle to keep him close to the old neighborhood becomes one of the funniest presentations to occupy the Prizery stage. The ordeal produces plots to make Nick change his mind about his move with every new visit, and the older folks even try their hand at playing Cupid to find the perfect woman who will hold him fast to the East Coast.

Playing one set of these loveable septuagenarians are two Danville residents who are making their first appearance with HCLT, although both have a long history with neighboring groups. Steve Petrick and Jane Reid have each played multiple characters with Danville Little Theatre and other nearby theatre groups.

Reid spends her days as an administrator with the CPA firm of Harris, Harvey, Neal & Company of Danville, but her evenings are filled with stage performances. Some of her favorite shows include “Same time Next Year,” “Don’t Dress for Dinner,” “The Cemetery Club,” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”

Reid loves to play comedy but especially likes her current part because, in addition to being funny, she also gets to show a more emotional side as Emma, a grandmother who is willing to do anything to keep her family close but who also wants Nick to do what makes him truly happy. She also feels that she is very much like her character, who is a self described “doer” who needs to have an occasional adventure to keep her feeling young.

Petrick plays Emma’s husband, Nunzio. His manner may not be as outgoing as Emma’s, but he has gained a great deal of wisdom from a lifetime of hard work and dedication to his family. He has some secrets to share though, and Nick’s dilemma confuses him as how to deal with multiple difficulties at one time.

Like his stage counterpart, Steve puts in a lot of time at work for the City of Danville as a real estate appraiser and then dedicates his evenings and weekends to the theatre, where he has a theatre history that matches Reid’s.

He has been seen on area stages for over thirty years. He notes that he moved to Danville in the 70’s, and found that “Danville, like South Boston, has its own unique charm.” Having raised a family and having his children move on, he is free to pursue his favorite activity, being on stage.

Petrick has had starring roles in many Danville Little Theatre shows as well as with Averett University. Some of these shows include “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Proof,” “The Foreigner,” and “Deathtrap.” After this show concludes, Both Petrick and Reid will be starring in Gretna Little Theatre’s production of “Last Romance.”

Both Jane and Steve are excited about their first show with HCLT and invite all local theatre lovers to see a very special production. This is one of the funniest and most heartwarming plays anyone could ask for, and the cast is one of the most experienced HCLT has had. It is truly a “don’t miss” evening of family fun and is a story that is inspiring for anyone who has experienced a separation from his loved ones.

Make plans to be there opening night, Feb. 20, for an evening that will warm the coldest heart. The show continues Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, and then the next weekend the show runs Thursday through Saturday nights and concludes on Sunday, March 1, at 3:00 pm. Tickets are on sale at The Prizery box office at 572-8339 or online at As Nunzio would say, “Tengo famiglia.” It’s Italian, but you will understand perfectly.

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