Venice Theatre’s Stage 2 Series is proud to present Arlene Hutton’s tender and funny drama “Gulf View Drive” opening in The Pinkerton Theatre on Jan. 10 and running through Jan. 26.
The third in Hutton’s “Nibroc Trilogy” “Gulf View Drive” picks up in 1953, eight years after audiences last saw the characters in “See Rock City.” Venice Theatre produced “The Last Train to Nibroc” in 2018 followed by “See Rock City” in 2019. In those first two plays, a young pair of Kentuckians named May and Raleigh meet, fall in love, marry and try to reconcile marital expectations and their opinionated mothers-in-law. Although “Gulf View Drive’s” story stands on its own, the theatre is delighted that many patrons will have had the chance to see all three plays.
Producing Executive Director Murray Chase says, “Arlene Hutton has written three equally strong scripts with characters who are so real they feel like family. We know these people and want to see how life turns out for them.”
In “Gulf View Drive,” with the success of Raleigh’s writing career and a change in May’s teaching situation, the couple makes a cross-country move to Siesta Key (not far from where the playwright was raised and attended graduate school.) Shortly after arriving in Florida, May and Raleigh’s small dream house becomes over-crowded as relatives descend, further testing the couple’s love as they make unconventional decisions in a changing world.
In a script that The Orlando Sentinel calls, “both comical and moving,” Hutton’s portrayal of family life expands its view of relationships, work and post-war society to encompass new characters and a storytelling twist. The New York Times says, “Ms. Hutton knows how to weave the epic and the incidental with the lightest and least obtrusive thread,” and nytheatre.com describes “Gulf View “as, “An undeniably moving portrait of a changing America in mid-century. Compassionate, intimate.”
Director Kelly Wynn Woodland, a native Floridian, has cast Henry Reisinger as Raleigh, Julie Buckler as May, Karen Kelly as Mrs. Brummet and Beth Pramschufer as Raleigh’s sister Treva. Judy Tilley returns from “See Rock City” to reprise the role of Mrs. Gill.
Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays.