Columbia Children's Theatre Presents THE CHRISTMAS DOLL, 11/23-12/2

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Columbia Children's Theatre (CCT), the Midlands only professional theatre for families and young audiences will present Joan Cushing's musical adaptation of Elvira Woodruff's The Christmas Doll November 23 – December 2. Show times are Fridays at 7:00 PM, Saturdays at 10:30 AM and 2:00 PM and Sundays at 3:00.

Tickets are $8.00 and can be purchased online at www.columbiachildrenstheatre.com. Special weekday matinees for daycares, schools and homeschool groups will be presented on Thursday, November 29 and Friday November 30 at 9:15 and 10:45 AM. For more information contact CCT at 803-691-4548. All shows at held at Columbia Children's Theatre on the 2nd level of Richland Mall, 3400 Forest Drive. CCT's 2012-2013 Season is sponsored by Midlands Kids Directory and the Little Gym of Columbia and Lexington.

On Saturday, December 1, CCT is partnering with Richland County Recreation Commission for a special "Breakfast with Santa" event at 9:00 a.m. A $12.00 ticket price includes breakfast, photos, and holiday activities with the "jolly old elf" himself, followed by the 10:30 a.m. performance of The Christmas Doll. Breakfast with Santa has sold out for the past several years; advanced tickets are strongly encouraged.

Set in Victorian England The Christmas Doll follows orphans Lucy and Glory Wolcott as they escape Grimstone Union, the workhouse where they have been living, and take to the streets of London. On their journey they meet such colorful characters as Nick Button (an honest version of the Artful Dodger) who'll charm the bloomers right off you, Florie Nuggins and her miserly husband (both played masterfully by CCT favorite Lee O. Smith), and finally, kindly Mrs. Thimblebee, proprietress of Thimblebee's Doll Shop.

The Christmas Doll premiered at Children's Theatre of Charlotte in 2007 and won the 2007 National Youth Theatre Award for Outstanding Musical and was voted best original show for 2007 by Creative Loafing Magazine.

Featuring a cast of fifteen including Evelyn Clary, Kim Harne, Bobby Bloom, Ruth Glowacki, Carolyn Chalfant, Leighton Mount, Sara Jackson, Matt Wright, Paul Lindley II, Rachel Glowacki, Elizabeth Stepp, Anthony Harvey, and Lee O. Smith, the roles of Lucy and Glory will be portrayed by CCT YouTheatre favorites and Mainstage newcomers Maddie Rae Fram and Ashlyn Combs.

"Despite plague, pestilence, rats and a cruel head mistress," says CCT Artistic Director Jerry Stevenson, "This musical is just quite touching and uplifting in its humanity and hopes for a better world then and now, and is a true depiction of what the holiday season is all about. Sure it's as if Annie meets Oliver in Sweeny Todd's barber shop, but that's what makes it giddy and titillating for the little ones because at Christmas time we truly hope and feel that it will all work out in the end!"

The Christmas Doll runs November 23 – December 2. Show times are Fridays at 7:00 PM, Saturdays at 10:30 AM and 2:00 PM and Sundays at 3:00. Special weekday matinees for daycares, schools and homeschool groups will be presented on Thursday, November 29 and Friday November 30 at 9:15 and 10:45 AM. All shows at held at Columbia Children's Theatre on the 2nd level of Richland Mall, 3400 Forest Drive. Tickets are $8.00 and can be purchased online at www.columbiachildrenstheatre.com. For more information contact CCT at 803-691-4548.

Columbia Children's Theatre is a professional resident not-for-profit theatre dedicated to providing quality live theatre experiences for families and young audiences, and is supported in part by the City of Forest Acres, The Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Caption: Orphan sisters Lucy and Glory meet the streetwise charmer Nick Buttons when they escape their workhouse in The Christmas Doll. Pictured (l-r) are Maddie Rae Fram, Ashlyn Combs, and Paul Lindley II.

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