Lake Park High Theatre to stage holiday comedy

Shake off the holiday blues with Lake Park High School Theatre's production of the comedy "A Good Old-Fashioned Big Family Christmas" this weekend.

Director Kathy Weber chose this show as light fare for the holiday season, and as a perfect accompaniment to the Lake Park Educational Foundation's Night of Fine Dining & Theatre on Friday, Dec. 9.

Tickets, which may be purchased at the door, are free to senior citizens and Lake Park students, $3 for non-Lake Park students, and $5 for adults.

Sisters Beth (played by senior Mallorie Nawrocki, left,) and Carla (junior Brinly Wilson), with their husbands Cliff and Max (played by freshmen Javarius Lane and Matthew Tarulla, right) aren't too sure about what's about to happen in Lake Park High Theatre's "A Good Old-Fashioned Big Family Christmas." Courtesy of Lake Park High School Theatre

Pemances </a><![CDATA[are at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9; and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, in the East Campus Dice Auditorium, 600 S. Medinah Road in Roselle.

Online sales for the Night of Fine Dining have closed. Learn more at

The Daily Herald checked in with the director for more on this production of Pat Cook's comedy.

Q: Why did you choose "A Good Old-Fashioned Big Family Christmas" for Lake Park High School's winter play?

A: This is a Christmas play that is so funny and relatable that I thought it would be a perfect choice for this time of year, and be a very welcome performance to accompany our Lake Park Educational Foundation Night of Fine Dining & Theatre on Friday, Dec. 9.

Q: For those who aren't familiar, please describe the plot.

A: Hayden and Judith Stewart, a middle-aged married couple, are worried about their parents' frequent arguing, especially around the holiday.

Judith comes up with the idea to go all out on a three-generation family Christmas party with no limitations.

Senior Kyle Freeman plays Tom, Hayden's father, and sophomore Julian Mostowski portrays Hayden Stewart in "A Good Old-Fashioned Big Family Christmas." Courtesy of Lake Park High School Theatre

Soa> Hayden and the rest of the family are on their very best behavior, which can only end in comic disaster.

Q: How many students are involved with the production?

A: There are 15 students in the cast and about 15 more on technical crews.

Q: What were the most challenging aspects of getting this production together?

A: Precise timing is such a critical part of comedy.

The challenging aspect of this production was getting that timing down to make the action simultaneously natural and absurd.

Q: What did you find most rewarding?

A: I liked to hear the cast bonding and joking around.

Lake Park High Theatre is putting on the comedy "A Good Old-Fashioned Big Family Christmas," a three-generation family Christmas party with no limitations, as their winter play this weekend. Courtesy of Lake Park High School Theatre

Q: What were some of the best moments in putting together this production?

A: Some of the best moments are the growing close relationships among the cast members, and seeing each student grow in confidence as a result of performing in a play.

Q: What do you think audiences will enjoy most about this play?

A: Audiences will enjoy the sheer silliness of this show. At Christmas, audiences look for performances to be a stress reliever from their to-do lists.

Q: What do some of the performers have to say about the show and their role in it?

A: Junior Brinly Wilson comments: "My character is a middle-aged mom who gets mad at her family a few times throughout the show, which is fun for me because I get to yell and be kind of all over the place at some points in the show. I think rehearsals have been fun and interactive. We're trying really hard to bond and get everyone together to form this family that we have to portray in our sitcom-like show, and I think our cast dynamic has been working pretty well!"

“A Good Old-Fashioned Big Family Christmas” cast

Judith Stewart: Sophomore Frankie Molfese

Carla, Judith’s younger sister: Junior Brinly Wilson

Beth, Judith’s youngest sister: Senior Mallorie Nawrocki

Phoebe, Judith’s college-aged daughter: Freshman McKenna Maloney

Mildred, the sentimental neighbor: Senior Chloe Berkich

Tristan, Carla’s daughter: Sophomore Ana Valadez

Blair, Carla’s daughter: Freshman Sydney Ohlson

Lanie, Carla’s daughter: Freshman Emily Rusin

Arlene, Jack’s wife: Sophomore Meya Wiggins

Marjorie, Hayden’s mother: Sophomore Soniya Mirza

Hayden Stewart: Sophomore Julian Mostowski

Max, Carla’s husband: Freshman Matthew Tarulla

Cliff, Beth’s husband: Freshman Javarius Lane

Jack, Arlene’s husband: Senior Sammy Carstens

Tom, Hayden’s father: Senior Kyle Freeman

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