|Family feud: Bob Cox (son Andy) glares at Bob Hotchkiss (father Phil) as the Gorskis try to overcome their differences.|
PHOTO: Jan Cartwright
These days, the Ghost of Christmas Present is sometimes confused with the goal of Christmas presents. In a society that celebrates “shop till you drop,” Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, it’s easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. Bob Cox, who plays Andy Gorski in Greetings! at the Farmington Players, places the holiday in proper perspective: “The themes in Greetings! include overcoming differences, finding understanding, family, love, faith, philosophy and of course - Christmas! I think every person with a family will understand what it's like to have differing views from their family. Watching a family overcome these differences warms the heart and is truly a perfect theme for the holiday season. I wanted to be part of a group of actors who could bring a happy tear to peoples' eyes. Christmas is my absolute favorite thing in the entire world, and I'm happy to do anything I can do to bring the spirit of Christmas into peoples' hearts.”
In Greetings!, the ”differences” to which Bob alludes stem from the drama created when his character Andy brings his Jewish atheist finance Randi home for Christmas to meet his strictly Catholic family. And while Andy tries to use humor to diffuse the tension, as Bob says, “The patience he got from his mother is overshadowed by the temper he got from his father.” (Andy’s father Phil is played by Bob Hotchkiss, and the two Bobs also played father and son in Becky’s New Car last season at the Barn.)
In the play, Andy’s brother Mickey (Alex Macksoud) has a mental disability that impairs his speech. As Bob explains, “In Mickey's case, his goal - wanting to fix problems in his family - is made impossible because of his inability to effectively communicate with others; something that comes so easily to most people. Luckily for his family, Mickey is nothing if not resourceful!” Bob can definitely relate to such challenges, saying, “I work in a Disability Support office, so I interact with individuals with varying physical and mental disabilities on a daily basis. We take things for granted that we don't even think of. My favorite student at the entire school is a woman who is wanting to get a business degree so she can open a soup kitchen in the area of Detroit that she lives in. … She wants to help them, but she has difficulty comprehending math due to her disability." Seeing how other people bravely face their own challenges enables you to not take things for granted and to count your own blessings. And isn’t that what Christmas is really all about?
Greetings! has four remaining performances at Farmington Players Barn Theater on December 14 – 17, 2017. The show is proudly sponsored by Jill Jones and Cadillac Travel. Author Tom Dudzick also penned our successful production of Miracle on South Division Street. Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.