Theaters to recall fond memories of Christmas past

Whether the stories tickle the audience’s funny bones or touch their hearts, plays in the area will bring live Christmas entertainment throughout December.

“A Christmas Carol” will show at Edinburg’s Theatre Shenandoah both before and after the holiday. President and Artistic Director Lori Staley will be directing the Wayside Theatre’s musical version of the Christmas classic. Adapted by Warner Crocker and with an original score by Steve Przybylski, the musical evokes a lot of fond memories from when the production played at the Wayside Theatre, Staley said.

“We obtained the rights to be able to do that … that one was my favorite version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ that I had seen,” she said.

A cast of around 25 actors both young and old will tell – and sing – the Charles Dickens tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s Christmas change of heart. Staley said she’s hoping to feature some eye-catching special effects with the ghosts in the story.

For the theater’s ongoing list of annual Christmas plays, she said the theater went for a traditional and well-loved story this year.

“It’s just a really lovely production about the power of love and the Christmas spirit … a good feel-good show,” she said.

“A Christmas Carol” will play at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 11, 12, 18, 19 and 26 and at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 13, 20 and 27. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children and seniors and can be found at the Edinburg Mill, at the box office or online at http://tinyurl.com/qeqwv62.

Audiences can revisit the fictional town of Tuna, Texas for the Schultz Theatre’s production of “A Tuna Christmas.” Artistic Director Michael Gwin said the New Market theatre performed the original “Greater Tuna” around a year and a half ago – when he himself played one of the character-hopping roles.

The production is a two-man script, with each actor playing 11 different and very distinctive roles each. Director Michele Reger said work for the production began in July, hunting down several Christmas trees and creating costumes suited for the two actors’ quick changes. She said actors Tim Reger and Ron Smith will portray a wide range of characters – from old ladies to little boys to teenagers and waitresses.

“The characters who live in Tuna, Texas, are just some interesting people; they’re funny, they have very poignant moments and it’s always interesting to see what parts of their lives match ours,” she said.

Gwin said that between the overzealous decorators and those suffering from a case of the holiday blues, audience members will empathize with the Christmas plights of the residents of Tuna.

“At different points in our lives, we can probably relate to all of the characters,” he said.

“A Tuna Christmas,” recommended for ages 10 and older, will show at the Schultz Theatre at 7 p.m. on Dec. 4, 5, 11 and 12. and at 3 p.m. on Dec. 6 and 13. Tickets, which can be purchased at the box office or at http://tinyurl.com/j75hlr5, are $13 for adults and $11 for students and seniors.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com