Lawrence Community Theatre will end its 1997-'98 season with some laughs.
Has there ever been a family gathering without some sort of squabble popping up? Well, just imagine putting two in-laws who hate each other under the same roof.
That's the premise behind Marshall Karp's comedy ``Squabbles,'' which opens Friday and runs through June 21 at Lawrence Community Theatre, 1501 N.H. The show closes the LCT's 1997-'98 season.
``It's about two couples -- a young couple who is childless and then her father and his mother,'' Avi Seaver, the show's director, said. ``Circumstances bring them under one roof.''
The two-act, two-hour comedy follows Jerry, a jingle writer, and his equally successful lawyer wife, Alice. The trouble starts when Alice's curmudgeonly father, Abe, moves into the spare room of their New England home. The situation worsens when Jerry's mother, Mildred, arrives at their door after a fire forces her out of her own house.
Abe and Mildred have met only once before, at their children's wedding, and immediately disliked each other.
``It deals with how they find some way of living together,'' Seaver said. ``They must reconcile their differences. The humor comes in as the older couple snipe at each other.''
The cast includes Rene Torres and Jennifer Wesco as the young couple; Glenn Pierce as Abe; Mary Ann Saunders as Mildred; Brad Douglas as the handyman; Kenna Frankenfeld as the governess; and Charlie Neuringer as the neighbor.
``The biggest challenge was to get the actors to listen well and get their timing, or give them the opportunity to discover it for themselves,'' Seaver said.
The ``Squabbles'' script, he added, is cleverly written.
``It's a family comedy,'' he said. `` ... It's the kind of evening of fun to end a season. People will leave with a good feeling.''
Seaver said Wesco is the only cast member he has worked with before.
``One of the delightful things (about community theater) is the people who are doing it for the love of it and not for financial rewards,'' he said.
``Squabbles'' is Seaver's first attempt at directing a LCT play, although he has directed productions at Bethany College, Georgia Southwestern College and other community theaters. An accomplished actor himself, he has performed in several LCT, University Theatre and English Alternative Theatre productions and will appear this summer in University Theatre's ``Mirror, Mirror,'' which is about the life of Kansas artist Elizabeth ``Grandma'' Layton.
-- Jan Biles' phone message number is 832-7146. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.