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Meredith Walker Boyan, left, and Erica Badke Janostak provide some shocking news to Garrett Maroney, who plays Harry Gibson, the lead character, in the Aiken Community Theatre comedy "Gibson and Sons," which opens July 19.

“Gibson and Sons,” the Aiken Community Theatre’s summer offering, is making its American premiere for the popular Canadian actress and playwright Kristen Da Silva, according to a news release from ACT.

ACT will offer the comedy for five performances at 7:30 p.m. July 19-27 with at 2 p.m. July 21.

“Gibson and Sons” tells the story of Harry Gibson, who is working to help his father save their struggling small-town funeral home. Unfortunately, the business is getting in the way of Harry’s love life.

Desperate to settle down, Harry turns to an unconventional method of meeting a woman – an online Russian bride service. When his bride arrives in America with her sister in tow, the Gibson family is thrown into a tailspin.

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Meredith Walker Boylan and Ed Janostak rehearse a romantic scene from the comedy "Gibson and Sons," which opens July 19 at the Aiken Community Theatre.

Harry must convince his family that he hasn’t lost his mind, explain to his bride-to-be that she will be sharing their marital home with the dearly departed and convince everyone that he knows what he is doing.

"Gibson and Sons" is a hilarious, touching comedy about family, love, funeral homes and making all kinds of relationships work out for the best, according to the release.

Directed by Bob Franklin and assistant director David Skeen, “Gibson and Sons” attracted Franklin to the story because of its script.

“I love well-written stories, and Da Silva is a storyteller. Her play, while based on somewhat unlikely situations, develops real characters – with recognizable feelings – through carefully crafted dialogue. When reading her plays, particularly this one, I am torn between laughter and tears,” Franklin said.

While the show is recommended for mature audiences – ages 14 and older based on the publisher’s recommendation – it is a delightful comedy, Franklin said in the release.

“The subject matter of the play and some of the language is not for children. The play has some profanity, although it is by no means out of place, and we are not cutting it; so the audience should be aware that this is not a Disney-style production,” Franklin said.

“Gibson and Sons” is primarily an audience-pleasing comedy, according to the release.

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James Raby, left, Korilyn Hendricks, Garrett Maroney and Nancy Gamba Hansen gather for a family moment in the comedy "Gibson and Sons." The play will open July 19 at the Aiken Community Theatre.

Although ACT is preforming the United States premiere of the show, it has had several Canadian productions to rave reviews, according to the release.  

“Audiences love to laugh, and this show will provide them with plenty to laugh about; but beneath all the comic lines is a sense of poignancy and well-understood pain that will add in some tears,” Franklin said.

“Everyone in the audience will recognize themselves or their friends or family members in each of the characters,” Franklin added. “In theater, we talk about the 'willing suspension of disbelief,' which allows audiences to lose themselves in the story for the two hours or so that it takes to present it. For this show, it will just happen. They won't need to try.”

The cast of “Gibson and Sons” will feature James Raby as Declan Gibson, Garrett Albert Maroney as Harry Gibson, Ed Janostak as Luke Gibson, Korilyn Rae Hendricks as Becca Rawlins, Nancy Gamba Hansen as Aunt Jo, Meredith Boylan as Katya and Erica Badke Janostak as Eva.

Because the comedy is a summer show, “Gibson and Sons” will receive five performances rather than the main season standard of seven shows during the run.

Want to Go?

What: “Gibson and Sons”

When: 7:30 p.m. July 19-27 and 2 p.m. July 21

Where: Aiken Community Theatre at the AECOM Center for the Performing Arts, 126 Newberry St. S.W.

Ticket prices: Adults, $20; seniors, $17; students and children, $12; and active military, $17.

For tickets: Visit aikencommunitytheatre.org.

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.

A native of Aiken, Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.