Stage 3 Theatre Company brings a story of faith, family and miracles, yes miracles, to downtown Sonora in the form of a play by Tom Dudzick called Greetings, beginning November 14 and running until December 21.
Going home for the holidays has never been quite like this. Andy has a sweet Catholic mother, a sour Catholic father and a developmentally disabled younger sister named Mickey. When he brings his Jewish atheist fiance to meet the folks on Christmas Eve, his worst fears about family blow-ups are realized. But when Mickey, whose entire vocabulary has been limited to "oh boy" and "wow," suddenly spouts the word "Greetings!" the entire family's belief system is turned upside down. For it seems an ancient, wise and witty spirit who is set upon healing the family's wounds has borrowed Mickey's body.
Making his directorial debut at Stage 3, Jay Newington has assembled a talented and experienced cast to bring Greetings to life. Mike Moon plays Phil Gorski, the family patriarch and he is no stranger to Stage 3 having appeared in seven previous productions with the downtown Sonora company since 2011, most recently in Brighton Beach Memoirs and The Games Afoot. Sherry Dumos, playing wife and mother Emily, is also an experienced local actor who has appeared in valley productions for Stockton Civic Theatre, Community Theatre of Linden, That's Showbiz and recently she was seen in Stage 3's critically acclaimed Good People. Anthony DeGregorio as Andy, is a full time theatre student and local actor who recently appeared in Becky's New Car for Stage 3. Kaitlyn Brennan who plays Andy's girlfriend Randi, has been in four previous productions for Stage 3, including the role of Nora in Brighton Beach Memoirs. Susanah Holland is Mickey and she has appeared in many productions for Stage 3 including this season's opener Park Your Car in Harvard Yard.
“Underneath the garlands and twinkle lights, the show's core is an exploration of spirituality. I'm delighted at the way the play takes us through this journey - even the most devout or cynical audiences will take away some food for thought and introspection,” Said Jay Newington.
While Greetings takes place during a holiday celebration, for Jay it’s a play for all seasons and the play is now at the top of his list for many reasons. “I think Greetings is more than just a holiday show. If we have done our job, I trust that some beliefs will be challenged by the message, and others reaffirmed. At the very least, my hope is that the play will be thought provoking. My wish is that it will be inspirational.”
Mike Moon, in his eighth show with Stage 3 is thrilled to be reunited with Newington. Their history goes back to 1997 when they appeared in a production of Bye Bye Birdie in Modesto. “Jay is a fine director who really has a sense of this play and is a master of bringing out of his actors, some tremendous performances. He is careful and thoughtful as he goes about his work and you can tell that this project is very near and dear to him.”
Using the word “family” is not an overstep concerning Stage 3’s latest offering. Both on stage and off stage the five cast members have bonded with each other. Many have appeared in other productions at Stage 3 and throughout the region together, and for some, especially Sherry Dumos, it’s a bit like going home again. “I love the theme of tolerance for religious diversity, especially during the holiday season. The characters in the family Dudzick created are very real, easy to identify with. And, having worked with most of the cast members in other productions, it already feels like we are a family.”
“I have worked with everyone but Anthony before,” Added Kaitlyn Brennan, “and he is not new to Stage 3, so we are all comfortable, and we can find sparks of fun to throw at each other due to that comfort. It's quite fun to reunite with people and see them take on new roles.”
Jay Newington is no stranger to directing or design. He is designing the set for Greetings and he is also the owner of the successful design company in San Diego, Scene One, and he has been involved in theater in the foothills, throughout the valley and in southern California all his life. For his part working at Stage 3 has been a bit of a homecoming and a pleasure at every turn. “It's a beautiful little jewel , and I look forward to being there everyday.”
Greetings opens November 14 and runs until December 21 and it’s a show for the whole family. For more information or reservations call the box office at 209 536-1778 or visit Stage3.org.
Dave & Dianne Photography
Dave & Dianne Photography