‘Over River’ to Off B’way

Casting completed on DiPietro laffer

Casting has been completed on the new Joe DiPietro laffer “Over the River and Through the Woods,” headed to Off Broadway Sept. 18 at the John Houseman Theater.

The play centers on the conflict between a young ad man and his four interloping grandparents when he plans to accept a promotion and move to Seattle. Naturally, if their food can’t keep him in Hoboken (hence, “Over the River”), perhaps a pretty young girl can.

Ad man and hopeful

Jim Bracchitta stars as the ad man (Daily Variety, Aug. 17). His hopeful love interest will be played by Marsha Dietlein, who has appeared Off Broadway in Nicky Silver’s “The Food Chain” and “Amazing Grace.”

The meddlesome fuddy-duddies are to be played by Joan Copeland, whose Broadway credits include “Pal Joey” and “The American Clock,” and Dick LaTessa, who appeared on Broadway recently in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and Neil Simon’s “Proposals.” Also grandparenting will be pic and Broadway thesps Val Avery and Marie Lillo. Avery starred in pics like “The Pope of Greenwich Village” and “The Long Hot Summer.” Lillo made her Broadway debut in “42nd Street.”

DiPietro said that while the characters are based loosely on his own four grandparents, the plot is entirely of his own devising.

Generation gap

“The biggest difference between these generations is their concept of family and home,” explained DiPietro. “They believed that the family was central, and work is something you just do to provide for them. For our generation, it’s a lot more complicated.”

The show is a reunion of sorts for the principals of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” Joel Bishoff, who helmed that Off Broadway hit, will direct, and the play is being produced by “I Love You” producers Jonathan Pollard, Bernie Kukoff and James Hammerstein.

Tony Converse, who served as dramaturg on a previous regional production of “Over the River,” has also joined as a co-producer.

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