Christmas on The Air (@PacificTheatre) – guest review by @niftynotcool
“Christmas on the Air”: As Comforting as Cozy Flannels
I must confess that I came to see Midnight Theatre Collective’s “Christmas on the Air” at the Pacific Theatre feeling much more like Scrooge than Santa Claus. Maybe it’s the endless rain we’ve been having– I just hadn’t been feeling the Christmas spirit. “Bah humbug,” my skeptical little heart thought, “another Christmas show with carols and laughs and tender moments and hard hearts in need of softening and everything turning out alright in the end.”
And it was. And it did. And that is why I finished the evening with a smile on my face.
The story, made delightfully local by playwright Lucia Frangione, revolves around a small Vancouver radio station broadcasting their Christmas Eve Special. The struggles of the characters (all employees at the station) are interwoven with the stories, music, advice, and advertisements provided by the station to their listeners and studio audience.
Even though I found the character histories slightly confusing at times and wasn’t always sure how the physical aspect of the performance blended with the fact that the show was meant to be on the radio, by the second half of the evening I just didn’t care. In spite of myself, I felt my heart being warmed. I was reminded of elementary school Christmas concerts, the CBC, bundling up to visit the neighbours, and every other little piece of Christmas that seems to last year after year.
“Christmas on the Air” is certainly nostalgic, sentimental even. But it is also funny and entertaining, performed sincerely and lovingly by a talented and incredibly energetic cast, who play each part of their broadcast, whether it be recitation or advertisement, with agility and enthusiasm.
If you want to be reminded of the Christmases of old, “Christmas on the Air” is the show for you. If you want to listen to beautiful arrangements of Christmas carols sung by exceptional voices, “Christmas on the Air” is the show for you. If you want to witness a very memorable reading of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (also known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas”), accompanied by a series of pratfalls executed so deftly the spectacle can only be called virtuosic, then “Christmas on the Air” is certainly the show for you.
When I left the theatre after watching “Christmas on the Air”, I felt, more than anything, comforted. And I think that is exactly what a Christmas broadcast, whether on the air or in the theatre, is meant to do.
“Christmas on the Air” runs at Pacific Theatre until January 1. Please call Pacific Theatre at 604-731-5518, or visit pacifictheatre.org for more information.
This guest theatre review was contributed by Lauren Kresowaty. Thanks to Pacific Theatre for sponsoring my tickets giveaway!
Sometimes nifty but never cool, fairly well-travelled with more to explore, Lauren hails from rural Saskatchewan and now resides in a little nest/apartment in East Vancouver. Lauren is a cheerful pessimist by day (working a real job!) and a theatre artist, aerial silks enthusiast, and blogger by night. She holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Simon Fraser University. You can learn more about Lauren by visiting Nifty Not Cool or by following her on Twitter.
- Covering The Jessies 2012 (guest post by @niftynotcool) #Jessies12
- Jason and the Argonauts (@CarouselTheatre) [Guest review by @niftynotcool]
- Tuesdays with Morrie at @PacificTheatre (guest review by @loisrp)
- Christmas on the Air (@PacificTheatre) and dinner at @HelmVancouver [prize pack giveaway] #hb604xmas
- Christmas decorations