Book by Barbara Georgans • Lyrics by Jon Steinhagen • Music by Philip Seward
Cast: 6M/6W • Instrumentation: Piano • Duration: about 2 hrs.
Ari Fitikakis, head of a Greek immigrant family on the west side of Chicago in 1930, is adamant that his daughter, Edna, will marry in the traditional way — to the man he selects. His brother, Vasi, arranges a marriage for his daughter, Georgia, but Ari insists he will find a better groom (gombro) for his daughter. This is hard to believe, because the two brothers try to support their daughters and sister, Thia, on bootlegged retsina which they make in their basement. Unfortunately, nobody likes retsina, so the brothers are constantly scrambling for money. As Vasi proceeds to arrange a good marriage for his daughter, Ari seeks out a young doctor for Edna and gives him the family’s entire savings as a dowry. Meanwhile, Edna, the only gainfully employed member of the family is falling in love with her boss, Chester, who is owner of his own chocolate factory. At the same time, the Greek mafia, is preparing to turn Ari in to the Feds. As the walls begin to close in on him, Ari is determined to develop a plan to make everything right with his family and to get out of retsina. At a modest engagement party for Georgia and her intended, Gus, Ari invites the neighborhood to the Paradise Ballroom for a lavish engagement party for Edna. In act two at Edna’s party Ari’s well-made plans unravel one by one as he learns the true meaning of family.
Nobody Likes Retsina is a story about family, about mistakes, forgiveness, and acceptance.
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