SANTALAND DIARIES Open Upstairs on Monday, A CHRISTMAS CAROL Follows on Wednesday

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on December 5, 2014

Someone called it “Tomography” when my partner, Tom Thayer, was staging — or, rather, choreographing — the dance for the Fezziwig scene in A Christmas Carol. Adding another couple to the scene enlarged it exponentially.

I couldn’t stop smiling as dancers and actors who move, along with the new young cast members, jumped, bumped, twisted, turned and Alemana-ed their way around the room, into the set and each other. I smiled so hard for a solid hour at the constant movement and chatter that my cheeks hurt by the time it was completed.

A Christmas Carol opens to the public with its pay-what-you-can performance next Wednesday, December 10, at 7pm. Tickets will go on sale at 6:30pm for whatever price you wish to pay.

I’m not a scrooge — Scrooge is a Brit. I’m Scotch-Irish, which means I’m frugal yet sentimental. I collect and put away as much Christmas as I can throughout the year. I haunt the “Clarence” racks, gathering up things and placing them in a series of shopping bags, all with friends’ names on each. So when something catches my eye and they have my friend Clarence’s name on them, I’m all over it.

I am trying to rid myself of stuff. I’ve reached that time of life when I’m letting things go. I gave away all of my Dept 56 Dickens houses to the children in the last Christmas Carol. I’ve bundled up a lifetime’s worth of unused postcards and tied a Christmas tree ornament on each bundle, and I’m passing them out to Cratchits, Saturday class kids and anyone else who’s slipped through the holiday cracks.

I’m living my life like that of my bespectacled and braced gentleman with the gracious and beautiful wife — I’m buying no new clothes, underwear and shoes notwithstanding (I remember what Mother always said). After saying that last New Year’s Day, I found an Abercrombie & Fitch shirt in my size discarded in a deserted parking lot. After a visit to my washer, I thought, “Thank you, God.”

On this and next Monday and Tuesday — December 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 7pm — Ryan Bowie stars in The Santaland Diaries upstairs in theotherspace. This is the Roxy’s third go-round with the surprisingly cynical yet funny and touching hit, adapted by Joe Mantello from the essay by David Sedaris. Ryan has wowed audiences in numerous productions (most recently garnering standing ovations at every performance of his portrayal of Hedwig), so this performance promises to be a show not to miss. Tickets are $15, and the show is recommended for mature audiences.

Our fourth annual holiday dinner and show, “Christmas Over The Cumberland,” next Friday, December 12, features braised roast, sweet potato casserole, roasted fall vegetables, Yorkshire pudding, cranberry sauce and Tiny Tim’s plum pudding, complemented with Beachaven wines, at 6:30pm in F&M Bank’s Franklin Room, and the 8pm performance of the perennial favorite A Christmas Carol. Tickets are $50.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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