'Life With Father' makes for a fun evening at Weathervane

By April Helms Special Products Editor Published:

Weathervane Playhouse's current show is reminiscent of the traditional family-centered 50s sitcoms. Which shouldn't come as a surprise since it was a television series that ran from 1953 to 1955.

"Life With Father," which also is the longest-running non-musical Broadway play with more than 3,000 performances and was adapted for film in 1947, can be seen at Weathervane through April 13.

Jerry Neikirk of Akron said that the play "was one of the better ones we saw here in the last six to eight months."

"The cast seemed to be comfortable onstage," said Neikirk. "They knew how to behave and carried things out smoothly."

The play, written by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse, is based on the semi-autobiographical stories written by Clarence Day Jr. on his own family. It centers on the well-to-do Day family in 1889, where father Clarence Day Sr. (played by Jim Fippin) rules the roost. Or, at least he tries to. He often finds his "reign" challenged by his wife, the gentle-natured Vinnie (played by Tari Lyn Bergione), and his four sons, including Clarence Day Jr. (Eric Lucas), John (Will Price), Whitney (Owen Desberg) and Harlan (Spencer Desberg). Between unexpected family visits from cousin Cora (played by Jenny Barrett) and her young friend Mary (played by Erin Moore), visits from the Reverend Dr. Lloyd (played by Richard Worswick), first love, summer job ventures and a constantly changing staff of maids, the Day house is always in hilarious uproar.

There were many charming touches in this production, from the lovely Victoria-era costumes to the sets and decor. The maids in the Day household -- played by April Deming, Kay Caprez, Sasha Desberg, Madelyn E. Francis and Jennifer Desberg -- assist with the scene changes and change the old-fashioned placards on the stage which tell the audience when the action is taking place.

Also in the cast are Steve Boardman as Dr. Humphreys and John Grafton as Dr. Somers.

Ticket and show information

Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $21 each; $19 tickets for seniors are available for Thursday and Sunday performances. Tickets for children (ages 17 or younger) and college students are $5 each at all performances. Additional discounts for groups of 10 or larger are also available.

The Weathervane Playhouse box office is open Mondays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and is also open beginning one hour before each performance. For tickets, visit or call the Weathervane box office at 330-836-2626 or visit www.weathervaneplayhouse.com.

Next on stage

Weathervane's next show is the comedy "Don't Dress for Dinner," which will run May 1 through 18. The theater also will stage "The Legend of the Gold Doubloons" as part of its Young Actor Series from May 6 through 16.

Next season

Weathervane Playhouse also announced its show lineup for the 2014-15 season.

Mainstage

"The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd" by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, Sept. 4-21

"Relatively Speaking" by Alan Ayckbourn, Oct. 9-26

"Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some!)" by Michael Carleton, Jim FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez, Dec. 4-20

"A Delicate Balance," by Edward Albee, March 26-April 12, 2015

"Unnecessary Farce," by Paul Slade Smith, April 23-May 10, 2015

"Oklahoma!" by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, June 4-28, 2015

Dietz Theatre Series

"4,000 Miles" by Amy Herzog, Nov. 5-15

"Crazy Man," by Michael Oatman, Jan. 14-24

Young Actor Series

"The Wizard of Oz," by L. Frank Baum, Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, July 25-Aug. 10

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, Nov. 25-Dec. 21

"Hamlet," by William Shakespeare, Feb. 27-March 15

There will be an additional mainstage show running late January and February, to be announced

Email: ahelms@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9438

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