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Family Affair

Great Lakes Theater Festival celebrates bad manners.

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The Great Lakes Theater Festival’s Hay Fever sounds like something from a reality show: Mom’s a drama queen, Dad’s a jackass, and their kids are way out of control. Amazingly, the stinging comedy was written in 1925 by Noel Coward. “It’s about the shift of values,” says director Charles Fee.

Hay Fever revolves around a high-maintenance retired actress, who invites a young male fan to her family’s house for the weekend. Meanwhile, her self-absorbed novelist husband and two kids ask their own pals to drop by. Before you know it, “Everybody gets into an argument, and the guests tiptoe out the door,” says Fee. “It’s an awful thing when you are experiencing it. But it’s tremendously entertaining.”

Fee says he didn’t have to look far for inspiration. “I grew up in a family with peculiarities,” he says. “We didn’t fit in. And we all got into the arts.”
Wednesdays-Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 1:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: March 16. Continues through April 21

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