Lost in the ’Woods’

What happens when the ties of family that bind us start to constrict?

According to “Over The River And Through The Woods” director Rick Peterson, the answers to that question are both humorous and heart-warming.

“Through the arguments you have at holiday dinners, the embarrassing stories that people bring up all the time — you’re still family, no matter what,” he said.

The Holt Dimondale Community Players production bows Thursday.

Joe Dipietro’s low-key Off Broadway hit tells of Nick, a young, single professional whose regular Sunday dinners with his grandparents have become a staple of his Catholic family’s existence.

When a job opportunity threatens to take him to the other side of the country, Nick’s grandparents devise a plan to find him a love interest and deter him from leaving.

“Common faith gets you through those difficult times," Peterson said. "The three ’F’s — family, faith, and food — that’s what this play is all about.”

Randolph Flick II stars as Nick alongside Harlow Claggett, Caitlin Kane, Marie Papciak, Nan Slocum and Tony Zappa.

’Over the River and Through the Woods’

Community Players Holt Junior High School, 1784 Aurelius, Holt 7 p.m.
Jan. 20-22 and 27-29 $7 adults; $5 seniors and students (517) 694-3411

Ruhala tackles ’Improv’

Any parents out there looking for a way to get your kids to put down their video game controllers and turn off those TVs?

Look no further than the Ruhala Performing Arts Center, which serves up a silly slice of interactive family fun with ’Goofball Improv’ this Sunday.

Last seen at the annual Silver Bells in the City gala, the newly formed Ruhala Improv Troupe takes the stage with skits, games and scenes designed to entertain young children.

“Kids love to pretend,” said Artistic Director Mark Ruhala. “And what better way to validate that experience than to show that adults love it, too?”

“Goofball Improv!”

Ruhala Performing Arts Center 1846 Haslett Road, East Lansing 2 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 23 $5 adults; $3 children 12 and under (517) 337-046411

Oesterle’s many ’Lives’

Lansing Community College alum Nathan Oesterle takes center stage in his one-man variety show “All the Lives of Me” this weekend at LCC’s Black Box Theatre. Donations will be accepted at the door for this musical-comedy fundraiser for the Stan Hartman Scholarship Fund, created to assist second and third semester students in the theater program.

’All the Lives of Me’

Lansing Community College LCC Black Box Theatre 168 Gannon Building 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21 and Saturday, Jan. 22 Donations accepted (517) 483-1488