BWW Reviews: Slidell Little Theatre's THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI Shows Spirit of Giving, Self-Sacrifice
This weekend is the second of three that Slidell Little Theatre will be presenting a wonderful holiday musical, THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI with music and lyrics by Randy Courts, Mark St. Germain, and Randy Courts. If you and your family are looking to start off the holiday season with a lesson in the spirit of giving and self-sacrifice, this show is for you.
Della and Jim (Jessica Stubbs and Rob Reidenauer) are a young couple living in New York City who are struggling financially, and want to buy each other something for Christmas. Each of them sacrifices an item that is of great personal importance to be able to buy a gift for the other. All the while a poor street bum tries with all his might to get himself arrested so that he has a warm place to sleep for the night. The story is narrated by Willy (Jake Weaver), a newsboy, who shares his own observations of the goings on of his neighbors.
The cast did an excellent job portraying their respective characters, the music was wonderful, and the folks caroling between acts were a nice touch. I remember reading this story as a kid, and it was really neat to see a story that I love made into a musical. I'm also a sucker for all things Christmas, so the combination of these elements made for a very enjoyable evening.
One component of this show that stood out to me the most was the set. The story takes place in New York City, but this set almost looked like it could be part of a Nativity scene. The buildings looked like they were made to appear older, and if I'm not mistaken they were covered with newspapers. I always like seeing how simple materials can create such beautiful scenery for the stories that they house. With this particular show it worked so well because, unlike many stories that expound upon the materialistic part of the Christmas season, this story focused on the heart and how a simple gift can be the most extraordinary kind. The plot was simple. The characters were simple. The message, however important, was simple. And, the set was perfectly simple.
As I said before, this show is a great way to kick off the holiday season and it is something that families can enjoy together. THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI runs at Slidell Little Theatre through December 15th. Click here for more tickets and more information.