The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Review- Heaven and hell

With prayers ending in “… and liberty and justice for all!” and rosaries made of Trix cereal­- the latest production from the City College Theatre Group thinks outside the box and “Over the Tavern.”

The show opened Oct. 19 and will run through Nov. 3 with ticket prices ranging from $19 – $21. All shows will have student, senior, and group discounts are available.

The play is set in 1959 and follows Rudy, a 12-year old kid living with his parents and three siblings in an apartment over a bar in Buffalo, New York.

In addition to battling the usual perils of growing up, Rudy (Diego Paul Ochoa) has questions about his family’s religion: Catholicism.

Story continues below advertisement

Rudy’s father, Chet(Richard Hoag) who is a Catholic schoolteacher, and Sister Clarissa (Marion Jessup Freitag), seek to silence these questions so that Rudy will go through confirmation.

But as the story unfolds and family secrets and quirks are revealed, as the lively music and often-witty dialogue keep you on your toes, the audience and Rudy learn, that what seems is not always what is.

“It is a very accessible play. Even if you weren’t raised Catholic, there is something you can connect with. Everyone has a family who is not perfect,” said Katie Laris, the play’s director and a theater arts instructor at City College.

“Rudy decides to step up against the oppressive elements in his life. He won’t allow people to beat up on him anymore, and in doing that, his act of independence sets in motion a series of events that forces every member of his family to make changes in their own lives,” Laris said.

Since the play is about a family with young children, young actors were necessary to convey the innocence of a previous era.

No City College students are cast in “Over the Tavern.”

It is acted completely by community members, who have been rehearsing since the first week of classes at City College. (Come December, City College actors eager for the stage will perform in a Rick Mokler production on campus.)

Laris describes the production as having “kitchen-sink realism,” which makes sense since the set features a working sink. The stage design done by Tal Sanders is reason alone to check out the production.

The set is gorgeous and functional, the music is fun, and the lighting and costumes are unnoticeable and thus good.

The actors deliver Tom Dudzick’s witty script with brilliant comedic timing, and there is clearly camaraderie between them that makes everything more believable.

“It’s a story about how if one person stands up to authority, or says no to something oppressing them, then it allows everyone to make positive change,” Laris said.

More to Discover