Local Theater Watch

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by Ryan Beltram
Eugene Daily News

It’s a light week in the local theater scene. The high schools are getting ready for winter break so no new productions to report there. But there are still a couple professional theaters with plays still running as well as a few new holiday-themed events opening this week.

It’s the final week for the Actors Cabaret’s production of A Christmas Carol. Directed by Joe Zingo, the play features 22 cast members as well as lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Alan Menken. The final two shows will be Friday, Dec. 16 and Saturday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 pm.

The play tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his total disdain for Christmas. After going to bed Christmas eve, Scrooge is awaken by the first of three ghosts who will show him the consequences of continuing to lead a lonely and unhappy life.

A series of events in his life are presented to remind Scrooge of his unkindness towards others and he must decide whether to continue down a path of unhappiness or embrace the life he has left and show kindness to others.

If a traditional holiday play isn’t your thing how about a more contemporary tale from a unique perspective.

Humorist David Sedaris’ wrote about his days as Crumpet the Elf in Macy’s SantaLand display. Sedaris read the essay for the first time on NPR’s Morning Edition on Dec. 23, 1992. Following critical success, the essay was turned into a one-act play in 1996 called SantaLand Diaries. It has been a popular holiday production ever since.

Robert Vrtis directs a cast that includes Colin Lawrence as Crumpet the Elf and Jonathan Knight and Caitlin Wikenbach as fellow SantaLand elves. The show starts at 8 pm Dec. 15-17. The final show on Sunday starts at 2 pm.

 

On Friday, Dec. 16, the Eugene Ballet Company will begin its performance of The Nutcracker at the Hult Center. The Friday show will begin at 7:30 pm. There will be two shows on Saturday, one at 2 and one at 7:30 pm. The Sunday finale will be at 2 pm.

The performances will feature Tchaikovsky’s original music, festive costumes and sets and of course dazzling choreography.

We’ve all seen It’s a Wonderful Life, but what about on stage in a radio-themed presentation. The Richard E. Wildish Community Theater will present Fred Crafts’ Radio Redux of It’s a Wonderful Life Dec. 16-17 at 7:30 pm and Dec. 18 at 2 pm. Tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for seniors and students.

Instead of seeing a traditional play on the holiday classic, the Radio Redux series presents it as a storytelling event where people sit in front of microphones as various characters and entertain the audience with nothing more than their vocal chords.

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