Theatre Works Presents Frank O'Donnell's 'A Christmas Carol' Spin-Off, A CHRISTMAS CARMELLA, Now thru 12/15

Theatre Works Presents Frank O'Donnell's 'A Christmas Carol' Spin-Off, A CHRISTMAS CARMELLA, Now thru 12/15

Veteran Rhode Island comedian Frank O'Donnell is bringing his third holiday play to the stage. "A CHRISTMAS CARMELLA" is a spin-off from the two "ANT'NY CLAUS" plays O'Donnell wrote and co-directed in 2011 and 2012.

"In this one, Ant'ny's mother-in-law - Carmella Senior - is asked to tell her grandkids the classic holiday story, 'A Christmas Carol,'" says O'Donnell. "But, she gave the book away, so she's got to tell it from memory. And that's where the fun starts."

Carmella Senior will once again be played by CONNIE ANDERSON. In addition to telling the story, she'll also be jumping in as the ghosts in the play. PADRIAG MAHONEY and HAILEY CAROL O'CONNOR will return as Sonny and Holly Claus.John Morris and LYNN NADROWSKI, veterans of the first two productions, will be playing the Cracciatores. Mark AndersON, who played Santa in "ANT'NY CLAUS 2" and co-directed both of the earlier shows, will play Scrugini.

"My goal three years ago was to create a fun holiday alternative to 'A Christmas Carol,'" says O'Donnell. "All of a sudden, I've got a franchise on my hands."

"A CHRISTMAS CARMELLA" will be produced at Theatre Works in Woonsocket tonight, December 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15. "We're excited that Frank came back to us with a new show," says Mark Anderson, who also serves at Theatre Works' president. "The first two Ant'nys broke all sorts of box office records for us. If we get a threepeat, that would be perfect."

As in the past two years, there will be celebrity cameo appearances. Returning for the third time will be Mike Montecalvo and Tony Petrarca from WPRI-TV 12, Steve Cascione from ABC-6 and Kelly Bates from WJAR-TV 10. Returning for the second year will be Barbara Morse Silva from WJAR-TV 10. And this year's newbie is Frank Carpano from WJAR-TV 10.

"A CHRISTMAS CARMELLA" is O'Donnell's third full-length two-act play. He has also written and produced interactive dinner shows like "Blackbeard's Booty" (two-time Motif Theatre Award winner), "Murder at the Cathedral" and "Halloween Homicides."

A stand-up comic for the past 32 years, O'Donnell has also written for a wide variety of folks, from the late Bob Hope to Jay Leno and Joe Piscopo to Governor Don Carcieri and more. He is currently the house comic at Catch A Rising Star Comedy Club inside Twin River Casino.

Showtimes are 8PM on Fridays and Saturdays and 2PM on Sundays. Tickets are $19 ($15 for seniors). Call 401.766.1898 to make reservations.

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