GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: ‘Greetings!’ holiday play returning in Green Bay

Critic At Large

Green Bay Community Theater

Theater and show logos.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Green Bay Community Theater will present eight performances of Tom Dudzick’s “Greetings!” starting next week in the troupe’s Robert Lee Brault Playhouse.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 26-27; 4 p.m. Nov. 28; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1-3; and 4 p.m. Dec. 4-5. Info: gbcommunitytheater.com.

The teaser from the theater: “Andy has a sweet Catholic mother, a sour Catholic father and an intellectually challenged younger brother named Mickey. When Andy brings his Jewish atheist fiancée to mee the folks on Christmas Eve, his worst fears about family blowups are realized. But when Mickey, whose entire vocabulary has been limited to ‘oh boy’ and ‘wow,’ suddenly spouts a revelation, it turns the entire family’s belief system upside down. What’s happening to Mickey?”

Green Bay Community Theater previously presented “Greetings!” in October 2001. The Jewish atheist fiancée was portrayed by Sandy Zochert. For the current performance, Sandy Zochert is director.

“I remembered it as a very special, almost magical, project,” she says.

Her cast consists of Lyle Becker, Becky Decker, Gus Kroenke, Zett Ansley and Raechal Wozniak-Sanford.

“I thought this time around I would audition for Emily, the mother,” Sandy Zochert says. “When I learned the director hadn’t been selected, I knew that, with my affinity for the play, this was the perfect opportunity for me to direct (for the first time).

“I found my old script and was planning audition material until, curiously, I realized that author Tom Dudzick had modified the script. He now no longer simply labeled Mickey ‘retarded.’  but made the now-acceptable ‘intellectually disabled’ label a teaching point. Throughout its narrative, ‘Greetings!’ thus highlights the conflicts and differences inherent in most families as they grow, adapt and change in today’s world.”

Sandy Zochert recalls the special care taken.

“Sensitively portraying Mickey involved not only showing his condition but, just as importantly, also reflecting the special love and caring his family has for him,” she says. “So the entire cast had to embody this attitude.

“The magic and power of love and its motivations are what make this show work. It helped to have known a real-life family with an ‘intellectually disabled’ son that my husband grew up with and introduced me to early in our relationship and marriage.”

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