On stage 12/15/15

Give holiday gifts of theatre

By Jacqui Theobald

Photo: Jonathan Kelly stars as Charlie Brown in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Dec. 16-19 at Sinclair

Give magic! Taking the opportunity to introduce your youngest family members or friends to live theatre would be a memorable present, maybe even the beginning of a lifelong interest. Two different youth stories on stage are still available during the remainder of this year’s holidays

Go to a show!

Sinclair Community College Theatre presents real actors—adults—as all the Peanuts characters in “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” sponsored by Dayton Power and Light. They speak and walk like cartoons and sing, dance and skate on-stage in Blair Hall, Building 2, Dec. 16-19 with two 40-minute shows daily. Most are during the day.

Charlie Brown is Jonathan Kelly, with a properly innocent-looking face to make his “good grief” work perfectly. Snoopy is Greyson Calvert, an amazing roller blade performer. Imaginative choreographer Rodney Veal has created the familiar opening ice-skating scene with roller-bladers.

“It is the only routine I’ve changed,” Veal says. “The rest has to be exactly the same as the cartoon. The cast already knew the dances.”

Lucy is Erin Waldon, joined by David Brandt as Linus, Thomas Puckett as Pig Pen, Marley Judd as Frieda, Spencer Boden as Schroeder, Chelsea Overman as Violet, Bryana Bentley as Sally, Brooke Watson as Patty and Jesse MaGill as Shermy.

Director Gina Kleesattel says the college-age students love playing children who always say what’s on their mind. Music Director Katherine Frauman has placed the live musicians stage right. Set Designer Terry Stump has created a perfect winter wonderland, scaled to make the actors seem cartoon-sized with props and costumes also small enough for Peanuts.

ASL shadow interpreters are part of the show, following speaking actors. It’s a gift from SCC Theatre to their hearing impaired audience, a popular repeat from last year.

All tickets are $8 each, and there’s no lower age limit. All patrons must have tickets and review house policies. Tickets, availability, details and times are at sinclair.edu/tickets. For more help, please email boxoffice@sinclair.edu or call 937.512.2808.

Charles Schulz’s Charlie Brown celebrates his 50th TV year, but you can be any age to cheer him on as the gang thinks about the real meaning of Christmas.

Is it a fairytale or a confused carol?

Townhall Theatre has an original interpretation of the very familiar Dickens story. He might not recognize A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol, the Musical, but you and your children will have to laugh at the Big Bad Wolf as Ebenezer Scrooge. There’s poor ol’ Prince Charming, almost unrecognizable when he’s the hard luck bookkeeper. The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come is now the Queen of Hearts. It’s not exactly the classic cast of characters, but it sounds silly and delightful.

Both adult actors and students are in the cast and work together as mentors and learners with good balance. Children and adult audiences can both find characters to relate to.

The Landmark Children’s Theatre production was adapted by Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus with music by Bill Francoeur and additional lyrics by Scott DeTurk.

Neve Barker plays Cinderella Charming/Goldilocks, Fischer Barnett plays Philip Charming, Calla Boerger plays Brick/Fan, Nick Boerger plays Old King Cole/Midas, Peyton Boerger plays Jack/Medium Wolf, Lane Calfee plays Elf/Mary, Madison Hunt plays Hansel Charming/Snow White, Ed Iverson plays Big Bad Wolf, Haley Iverson plays Bale/Little Bo Peep, Jade Manley plays Queen of Hearts/Miss Muffet, Isabel Nixon plays Twig/Humpty Dumpty, Brianna Pitts plays Gretel Charming/Peter Piper, Shannon Price plays Meriwether/Black Sheep, Dylan Serrano plays Tabitha Charming/Little Wolf, CJ Suchyta plays Fezziwig/Rumplestiltskin and Lizzy Sundstrom plays Mother Goose.

One weekend remains: Friday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 19-20 at 3 p.m. The theatre is at 27 N. Main St. in Centerville. Please call 937.433.8957 before Dec. 18 for tickets, which are $15 for adults, $13 for students and seniors and $10 for children.

Give the gift of theatre classes

Washington Township Recreation Center, 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd., offers a variety of theatre classes for all ages, beginning with fun programs for 2- to 4-year-olds and going up through high school. They offer classes emphasizing different aspects of theatre, as well as for sequential skill levels and increasing pre-professional expectations. Private acting and music lesson are also offered. Please call 937.433.0130 or go to washingtontwp.org/contact for available classes, times and cost.

Give community theatre gift certificates, holiday specials

Dayton Playhouse is offering two tickets for the price of one for its next two shows, The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd or “Tale of the Allergist’s Wife” must be purchased by Dec. 31. Available by phone only at 937.424.8477.

Dare to Defy has a limited offer, extended to Dec. 20, with 25 to 40 percent off The Great American Trailer Park Musical at the Mathile Theatre, weekends Jan. 8-16. Check d2defy.com for promo code, then call 937.228.3630

At times, we are so crazed with self-imposed tasks and those requested or required by others that it’s a challenge to find something that feels like relaxation. Theatrical organizations try to provide opportunities to sit and find a lighter moment in laughter or an offering that touches something much deeper. Our rich Dayton theatre arena this season showcases this through imagination and reality, humor and pathos.

Find it, give it, live it, love it.

Reach DCP theatre critic Jacqui Theobald at JacquiTheobald@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Reach DCP theatre critic Jacqui Theobald at JacquiTheobald@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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