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posted: 3/14/2014 1:20 PM

Streamwood, Palatine and Wheeling residents star in Theatre in the Woods production of SQUABBLES, March 21-30 at Estonian House, Riverwoods

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  • Alice (Debbi Dennison of Streamwood, top left) and Jerry (John F. Di Leo of Palatine, top right) watch as their parents (Jim Scott of Highland Park at front left  and Julie Mitre of Chicago at front right) squabble. Stephen M. Levin

      Alice (Debbi Dennison of Streamwood, top left) and Jerry (John F. Di Leo of Palatine, top right) watch as their parents (Jim Scott of Highland Park at front left and Julie Mitre of Chicago at front right) squabble. Stephen M. Levin

Donna Lubow

Theatre in the Woods in Riverwoods presents a surefire, fun-filled hit in Squabbles by Marshall Karp, a comedy that pits a father-in-law against a mother-in-law in a comedic succession of squabbles.

Directed by Donna Lubow, the production dates are March 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. at Estonian House, 14700 Estonian Lane, Riverwoods. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door, on the website, by email ( or by phone (847-604-1990).

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Jerry Sloan (John Di Leo of Palatine) is a successful writer of advertising jingles married to an equally successful lawyer (Debbi Dennison of Streamwood). Living with the happy couple is Abe Dreyfus (Jim Scott of Highland Park), Jerry's curmudgeon of a father-in-law. The situation is exacerbated when Jerry's mother Mildred (Julie Mitre of Chicago) loses her house in a fire and needs a place to stay. Abe and Mildred can't stand each other. This play is one hilarious confrontation after another until the heart-warming finale in which the oldsters discover that, really, each is not so bad. Other actors in the play include Ned Ricks of Gurnee, Raj Malhotra of Palatine, and Kathie Keefe Howski of Riverwoods.

Debbi Dennison of Streamwood (playing Alice Sloan) is very happy to be cast in her first production at Theatre in the Woods. She has been on stage at various theatres across the Chicago area, including Donny's Skybox Theatre at Second City, Viaduct Theatre, Gallery Theatre, and the Elgin Arts Showcase. Favorite roles include Belinda/Flavia (Noises Off), Sis (Leaving Iowa), Margaret Houlihan (M*A*S*H) and Faye Medwich (Chapter Two). Debbi also writes (and acts) for Vex Theatre Company's annual TWIST-A-CAROL and other original Vex productions. She has taken numerous acting and improv classes/workshops at the Second City Training Center. Debbi currently performs improv with the groups Time Travelers, CHAOS, and Julie Ostrow and Her Improv Friends. Offstage she works as a Cable TV Producer and Freelance Videographer.

John F. Di Leo of Palatine (playing Jerry Sloan) was once a frequent performer in Chicago suburban community theater, but only recently returned after 20 years off the stage. He has acted with such long-gone groups as the Park Ridge Players, the Maine South Adult Players, and MTA Productions in roles including the homicidal Jonathan Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace, the lascivious Jesse Kiplinger in Plaza Suite, and the dashing CK Dexter Haven in The Philadelphia Story. Most recently, he played Tevye the Milkman in the Second Suburb Players' 2013 production of Fiddler on the Roof in Palatine. A married father of three, his day job is teaching international trade compliance, and he writes a weekly column for Illinois Review. John is looking forward to helping make people laugh at Estonian House, to make up for all the crying he has been known to cause elsewhere.

Raj Malhotra of Wheeling is happy to be working with Theatre in the Woods. and playing the part of Hector Lopez, the handyman. After a bit of a hiatus, he has returned to the arts, specifically acting and writing. Raj just finished a production at Chicago's Den Theatre of Charles Mee's Time to Burn, a dark drama about human dignity and compassion. However, Raj definitely enjoys comedy as well and is eager to share the subtle nuances as well as overt dichotomies of Squabbles with the public. Raj also enjoys matchmaking as a speed-dating host for

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