Thursday, November 8, through Sunday, November 18
Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, 600 Robinson Drive, Geneseo IL
With actor/playwright Jeff Daniels' comedy described by Variety magazine as “laugh-out-loud stuff” that “proceeds at a fast clip,” Geneseo's Richmond Barn Theatre closes its 2018 season of returning audience favorites with Escanaba in 'da Moonlight, a riotous and heartwarming tale of Midwestern male bonding that, according to the Chicago Tribune, “manages to be both politically incorrect and comedically accurate.”
In Tony Award nominee Daniels' 1995 play, family patriarch Albert Soady reunites with his two adult sons, Reuben and Remnar, at their Michigan Upper Peninsula family deer camp. Joined by their zany friend Jimmer – a man who has never been quite the same since being abducted by a UFO – the men settle in for a spell of bagging bucks, playing cards, and drinking sweet sap whiskey. Thirty-five-year-old Reuben, though, holds the infamous reputation as the oldest Soady in history never to kill a deer, which has earned him the unfortunate nickname “Da Buckless Yooper.” Consequently, Escanaba in 'da Moonlight's hunting-story-to-beat-all-hunting-stories spins a tale of humor, heart, and comic horror as Reuben goes to any and all lengths to remove himself from the wrong end of the family record book.
Last staged at Richmond Hill in 2011 – a production that led Reader reviewer Thom White to state, “I found myself giggling so hard that I couldn't breathe” – the theatre's new Escanaba in 'da Moonlight is directed by venue veteran Mike Skiles, whose recent on-stage credits include roles in California Suite, Dearly Beloved, and Doublewide, Texas. Two actors featured in the 2011 production, Jonathan Grafft and Justin Raver, make return appearances here, Graff recreating his original role of Jimmer, and Raver – who previously played Remnar – now portraying Reuben. Rounding out the comedy's ensemble are Nathan Johnson, Mike Kelly, Gary Talsky, and Amy Moskowitz, the latter playing a character credited as “Wolf Moon Dance.”
Escanaba in 'da Moonlight runs November 8 through 18 at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, with performances Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Admission is $12, and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)944-2244 or visiting RHPlayers.com.