Wednesday, December 11, 2013

REVIEW: The 12 Days of Christmas at The Empress Theatre

Photo credit for all photos in this review: Deanne Rutledge Jones

The Twelve Days of Christmas
The Empress Theatre in Magna
Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays,
November 30 – December 21, 2013
We were super excited to be invited to review The 12 Days of Christmas at The Empress Theatre……seeing this performance marked our one year anniversary since “discovering” The Empress Theatre, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! Our first experience with The Empress was seeing last year’s Christmas production, The Christmas Box.
3This year’s Christmas production is “The 12 Days of Christmas”, written by The Empress’ own Jake Andersen. The tale is one of good deeds done by Good King Wenceslas meets the 12 days of Christmas, set in modern, fifth grade, times.
When fifth grader Robby finds out that the cutest girl in the whole grade has a crush on him, he sets out to prove his love to her with a grand gesture of partridges, geese, cows, leaping lords and more! What he doesn’t expect when he begins this task is the relationships he will build with his friends, family and other people in the neighborhood. A twist of fate occurs when an unexpected tragedy happens, and Robby has to choose between the love of his life, and doing good for other people, similar to the dilemma Good King Wenceslas is faced with in the opening scene.
This production is also similar to one of my favorite sitcoms of all time, The Wonder Years, with a grownup Robby there to narrate the story and tell of his thoughts and actions during that important holiday in his life. This, to me, is what sets it apart from many other productions, and gives it that extra added humor and insight that you haven’t seen before.
2“Child creativity is as effective as it is funny,” said Bryan McNabb, director for The Twelve Days of Christmas. “I invite you to sit back and introduce yourselves to a Christmas that can only be had by letting go of what you know and letting the crazy kid inside you figure out how to celebrate in a new way. When this is over, you will never think of this song in the same way again.”
When Jake Andersen set out to write the script, he wanted something “entertaining and seasonal without making a person vomit from cheesiness.” He researched the origin of the Carol, and then researched Good King Wenceslas, and combined them.
“I am in a relationship of about 5 months now and I thought, ‘How would I show my love?’ There would be no bounds, nothing I wouldn't do to show my love,” Andersen said. “So, although cheesy, I relate to Robby and Wenceslas. I think we all can in some ways.”
6This production is cast with mostly kids playing the main parts, and because of that, it is very family friendly. It was refreshing to attend a production where I didn’t have to explain anything to my kids; we could all just sit back and enjoy it, and get caught up in the spirit of Christmas.
I caught my kids laughing hysterically at many of the scenes, and that brought a smile to my heart! Even though it’s a production kids can enjoy, the parents can enjoy it as well.
My favorite part is when Robby’s friends explain to him that getting married means “learning to fix the car, read the newspaper, and tell your wife she’s not fat.” How true it is!
We attended on a Monday night, which was Cast B, with Ravin Johnson playing the role of Robby, and Madison Carpentier playing the role of Victoria. The entire cast was right on with their lines, and delivered them in a hilarious way that kept us laughing throughout the entire production.
If you are looking for a fun, family event to enjoy this holiday season, The 12 Days of Christmas is exactly that! Fun for all ages, everybody will be able to enjoy and appreciate the unique storyline Andersen has created.
My 10 year old daughter made the comment that this is her favorite play we have seen so far at The Empress!
4With tickets only $10 (group discounts available), and affordable concessions, this is a great event for all families!

More about The Empress Theatre:

I was provided with complimentary tickets to attend and review The Twelve Days of Christmas. I was not compensated financially for my review, nor was I required or persuaded to write any specific type of review. The views and opinions expressed in this review are all my own.


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