Set in working-class Pittsburgh, “Greetings!” opens with the Christmas visit of cynical New Yorker Andy, who brings his Jewish/atheist fiancée home to his staunchly Catholic family.
Andy has a sweet Catholic mother, a sour Catholic father and a mentally challenged younger brother named Mickey.
Quicker than you can sing “Up on the Rooftop,” crochety patriarch Phil and nervous mom Emily engulf the couple in religious arguments that seem to be as much of a Gorski family holiday tradition as a nativity set.
“Greetings” by Tom Dudzick opens at the Adobe Theater on Thursday, Dec. 2; running Thursday-Sunday through Dec. 19.
A staple of Christmas stories from Scrooge to “Elf,” dysfunctional families reign over holiday plays.
Papa Phil out-Bunkers Archie Bunker.
Mama Emily is angry at the loss of the happy young ballplayer she married. Son Andy is riddled with guilt over his father’s lifelong inability to admit any love for his family. The only happy Gorski is son Mickey.
When Mickey, whose entire vocabulary has been limited to “oh boy” and “wow,” suddenly spouts the word “Greetings!” the entire family’s belief system capsizes. An ancient, wise and witty spirit determined to heal the family’s wounds has borrowed Mickey’s body.
“He’s really the star of the show,” director Nancy Sellin said .
The spirit leads them all through a lesson in tolerance.
“They all forget about religion and they forget about which one is right,” Sellin said.
The play stars Georgia Athearn, Daniel Anaya, Tim Reardon, Levi Gore and Jennifer Benoit.