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Family squabbles give birth to laughs in comedy

A pregnant couple must deal with bickering parents in a play presented by the Gulf Islands Civic Theatre.

By JORGE SANCHEZ

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 16, 2001


A family comedy about the plight of a young married couple who take in first one and then a second parent, all the while awaiting their first baby, will provide many lively moments in Squabbles.

"Any young couple concerned about the welfare of their parents, or the parents themselves, will be able to relate to this play," said Jeri Augustine, Squabbles' producer and director. The play will be presented by the Gulf Island Civic Theatre.

Newlyweds Jerry and Alice Sloan (Tim Moon and Regina Ballard), start off by inviting her father, Abe (Peter Abrams) to live with them. He's a wise-cracking retired cabbie from New York City. Then Alice finds out she is pregnant. Which is okay, since they have a three-bedroom house.

Things get worse when Jerry's mother, Mildred (Jan Schroeder) phones, saying her house has burned down and she needs a place to live. Trouble is, Mildred and Abe loathe each other.

"She tried to attack him with the cake slicer at the wedding," Augustine said."One of them's gotta go and they resort to all types of dirty tricks to make the other look bad."

With everybody trying to co-exist under one roof, it's a series of squabbles until the end, when a poignant turn of events reveals a greater understanding.

Rounding out the cast are the neighbor Mr. Wasserman (Bruce Bellamy), a nurse (Annie DeLeo) and the handyman, Hector (Larry Blanken). Their main roles are to referee the family feud.

"This is a well-written play, and it has a heart-warming ending," Augustine said.

At a glance

Squabbles, a dinner theater presented by Gulf Islands Civic Theatre, opens Saturday and plays for two weekends in the Hampton Room of Andre's Restaurant in Citrus Hills. Seating at 4:30 p.m., meal at 5 and show at 6:15 for Friday and Saturday shows. Sunday times are seating at 1 p.m., meal at 1:30 and show at 2:45. Tickets are $27. Call Andre's at 746-6855.

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