A couple of hours of senseless silliness is what we’re all needing about now in the mindless frenzy most of us find ourselves…in spite of our good intentions! “The premiere of the new Christmas play, “The Christmas Visitor” by Mike Orenduff at Pasadena Little Theatre, is all about fun.
In its 59th season, PLT wants you to relax and plunge deep into ridiculous laughter, says Director Grace Galloway.
Set in a Panhandle, Texas high school gym, the town festive season is about to begin with the annual play, directed (and plagiarized) by Lorraine Wiggins, played by PLT “star in residence” Julie Owen.
Nothing is out of Julie’s range on the stage!
She has taken liberties with and exercised ‘poetic license’ to the max with the real Charles Dickens’ Christmas story, making hilarious sequences in numerous scenes. Another stand-out is an unmarried librarian Emily French (Regina Kirkland), as perky as a fresh poinsettia.
Emily’s early-20-something niece, Sarah (Luci Galloway), has come to visit…no, she’s NOT the Christmas visitor in the title.
Other town personalities dash in and out, like Chester, the town drunk (Greg Brown), Mayor Annise (Renea Runnels), Sheriff Babbs (AnnDolbee), and Lorraine’s ‘smothered’ son, Edward (Anthony Martino). Even the local priest, affable young Father Connors (Mark Connelly), has been ‘Shanghai-ed’ into playing Bob Cratchitt, while visiting niece Sarah plays Mrs, Cratchitt.
The plot [if you could call it that] thickens as dense Bert, father of crippled boy Sam (Darrel Collins and Christian Lucio) appear with a fake honking goose and Hannah Galloway plays the Chinese girl, Wong Lee, who becomes “the evil Spirit of Communism”, while Renea Runnels plays “the Spirit of Christmas Past”.
This is the closest thing to Dickens’ story, besides Scrooge, that you will find in this “free-fall” comedy! Trying to keep up with Director Lorraine’s ever-changing demands in set design and construction are Sissie and Frank (Jenny Klonizchii and Matt Grabowski) who are barely able to stay sane.
NOW…who plays Scrooge, the Christmas Visitor in the title?
You’ll have to find out at Pasadena Little Theatre, Thursday, 19th – Sunday, 22nd. Call 713-941-1758 for reservations.
Written by: Gloria W. Smith