All posts by John N. Frank

Who Will You Meet at Grandma’s House? Meet Faye

She brought light back into his world and so he is devoted to her. She in turn loves him passionately because he is a kind and gentle man who can live with her foibles which sometimes drive her brothers and sisters a bit batty.

Who Will You Meet at Grandma’s House? Meet Sonny

Sonny (Phil Troyk) is one of two Smaldone brothers. He has endured much discrimination and taunting because of his Italian roots and now wants desperately to fit into the American landscape. New Year's Eve at Grandma's House traces Sonny's journey, and the perils he faces in his quest for the American dream. Sonny is very much ...

Who Will You Meet at Grandma’s House? Meet Stella

Stella (portrayed by Liz Lauren), Sonny's wife, is an outsider in a world of Italian-Americans. She grew up in an orphanage in Pennsylvania with one sister. In search of  a better life, she came to New York as a young woman to live on her own during the depths of the Great Depression. With jobs ...

Who Will You Meet at Grandma’s House? Meet Bill

Julianna's Irish boyfriend, Bill (portrayed by Jeff Watkins) grew up in the exclusive Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn,a world away from the hard-scrabble Italian neighborhood he now finds himself about to visit with Julianna. His father had been a long-time Naval officer before starting his civilian law career, so Bill came from a professional family, ...

Who Will You Meet at Grandma’s House? Meet Julianna

Julianna (portrayed by Olivia Cinquepalmi) is the youngest of the Smaldone sisters and brothers, the family baby who came along long after momma and poppa thought they were done growing their already large family. She represents another generation from most of her siblings, having been only a child during the Great Depression and a young ...

A sneak peek at the fashions of New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House

New Year's Eve at Grandma's House marks a major first for the 2nd Act Players -- we are making costumes for all the female actors in our play for the first time. 2nd Act cofounder Carolyn Calzavara is designing and sewing dresses, based on 1950s and 1960s patterns and some she designed herself. Act One takes ...

Tickets now on sale for New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House

AN IMMIGRANT FAMILY IN 1960 -- TWO GENERATIONS -- CLASHING DREAMS.   Tickets are now on sale for the 2nd Act Players' fall show, New Year's Eve at Grandma's House. Buy tickets in advance to secure the online $5 per ticket discount. Tickets are $17 in advance, $22 at the door. Simply click here to ...

A Columbus Day reminder of the discrimination, hatred Italian immigrants faced

Whop, guinea, daggo, greaseball – you’ll hear those derogatory terms and more In New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House, a poignant drama about the immigrant experience produced by Evanston’s own 2nd Act Players, November 3-18. In the play, those horrible words sting Sonny, oldest son of an immigrant Italian mother. "The crap I took. ‘Hay ...

Why does Sonny have bottlecaps in New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House?

Sonny is the oldest Smaldone son in New Year's Eve at Grandma's House. The party can't start until Sonny arrives, momma tells her somewhat jealous daughters as they wait for him on New Year's Eve 1960. Come see our show Nov. 3-18, and you'll hear Sonny get kidded repeatedly about the bottle caps he had ...

Immigration discussions to follow 2nd Act Players fall performances

The 2nd Act Players will host discussions on immigration issues following the first two Sunday matinée performances of its fall play, New Year's Eve at Grandma's House. Three speakers active in the immigrant rights arena already have agreed to take part and more have been contacted to participate in the discussions which will follow shows ...