Friday, December 18, 2009

Theater review: 'Tis the Season

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 10:28 AM

OK, so a couple of the stories in the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte's holiday kiddie collection, “How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas” and the Cherokee “Story of Creation,” were old-timers in the annual ‘Tis the Season ritual. There were enough new Tarradiddlers in the cast – and enough new content – to justify my seeing it anew as part of the Metrolina Theatre Association’s adjudication of their theater awards for the 2009-10.

You may feel the same if you’ve been part of the tradition before. Leslie Ann Giles is certainly a different breed of nudnik as she perpetually poises to recite “The Night Before Christmas” – even though she doesn’t remember the words. Sal Garcia, the newest Tarradiddler, is already an anklebiter comedy favorite, whether playing the Gatekeeper opposite Stephen Seay as Till Eulenspiegel or slinking around as Reynard the Fox opposite Giles’ sprightly Tomten. And Darlene Parker as Ms. C is still a treat.

But I dragged my wife Sue to this show because the Children’s Theatre website promised “This year we have also added a favorite Hanukkah story!” And around Charlotte, other parents may be snapping up tickets to ‘Tis the Season for the same ecumenical reason.

There’s just one big problem: ‘tis an absolute lie. No Hanukkah story at all, let alone a favorite.

My feeling is that we were grossly misled. Parents who have gone and experienced the same reaction have the right, in my view, to demand a refund. Those who have made plans to see the show on the strength of the bogus description may also wish to reconsider their options.

And the people who put on the shows at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte may wish to open a line of communication with the folks who market them.

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