I love having those holiday traditions that repeat from year to year. We have a number of them already: attending the Kapco Kids 2 Kids Christmas Toy Drive event (a great way to teach kids about giving) and enjoying the Luminary night festivities at my parents’ subdivision. Last week, we were invited to a preview performance of A Christmas Carol up in West Bend at the Masonic Lodge. After attending what turned out to be the best performance of this well-loved play I have ever seen, we will be adding attending this production as another yearly tradition!
I’m always a big fan of local community theater, and we are lucky enough to have a number of really talented folks in our local theater groups. I had never heard of this particular production, although I have since learned that it has been around for a number of years. I went to the press performance with a completely open mind and really didn’t know what to expect.
As soon as we walked in, it was obvious that this was going to be an extraordinary experience. The set was unlike anything I had seen before. The theater is “in the round” style with two stages at either end of the hall and seats lining both sides with a large area in the middle that wound up hosting most of the “action”. This had the effect of making the audience feel like they were in the play with the characters. The paintings along both walls highlighted local businesses, but with a 1800′s feel to them. The detail in the paintings was breathtaking!
Once the play started, it was immediately evident that this production was going to rival any seen in Milwaukee (or even Chicago in my opinion!). The actors playing Scrooge and Dickens were phenomenal and became their characters with what appeared to be effortless ease. In all honesty, every single participant played their part with a convincing commitment that is often missing in local theater. Even the children never faltered or broke character.
The special effects added just the right amount of wonder and magic to the story without coming across as amateur or hokey. Again, I have to stress how professional the whole production appeared and what a fantastic experience it was to witness! Apparently I am not the only one who thinks so, as it is already sold out for the remaining five performances. I do highly recommend bookmarking the website and stalking it to make sure that you get tickets to the 2014 performance!!
A huge thank you to the cast and crew of A Christmas Carol for providing my family with a truly magical experience!