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Review: 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS at Little Theatre Of Mechanicsburg

Review: 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS at Little Theatre Of Mechanicsburg

This family-friendly show is on stage now through December 11th.

The holidays are filled with stories to lift the spirits and to remind everyone about the important things in life. Many of these stories have been adapted into movies and plays that become part of holiday tradition. "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" is one of the oldest known Christmas poems, written in the 19th century. York native Ken Ludwig's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas takes the classic poem as its starting point as it introduces the audience to Amos, a mouse, and his best human friend, Emily. Amos and Emily find themselves whisked away on an adventure with an Elf named Calliope on a mission to save Christmas. This family-friendly holiday tale takes the stage under the direction of Meredith Hensel at Little Theatre of Mechanicsburg through December 11th.

The set is well-designed, inviting audiences into a cozy living room decorated for Christmas. One of the most notable elements of the set is the window through which the audience can see a wintery scene. The window also gives the audience their first glimpse of Calliope the Elf. With just a few simple but effective changes (including a creative changing of the color of the lights on the Christmas trees) the living room is transformed into Santa's workshop. Most of the set changes are completed while the scene continues, and the stage crew, featuring Rory Hicks, Marley Warren, and Michelle Leonard do a wonderful job completing the set changes smoothly.

As the show begins, the audience meets Uncle Brierly (played by Nate Kubasko), Emily (portrayed by Becky Winter), Amos the mouse and his twin (played by Audrie Noll), and the Sneeds (portrayed by Rory Hicks and Mitchell Kubasko). Nate Kubasko and Mitchell Kubasko also appear as the villains, Sir Guy of Gisbourne and Mulch, who are attempting to steal the Naughty and Nice List. These young actors successfully alter their voices and mannerisms to fit their different characters. Their performances as Sir Guy and Mulch are particularly well-done, demonstrating great comedic timing (and their evil rendition of "Deck the Halls" is hilarious and shows off their vocal talents).

The heroes of the story are Calliope (played by Jessica Duran Steele), Emily, and Amos and his twin Amos of Kansas. This trio of actresses are delightful to watch. Steele, Winter, and Noll work well together, and the audience cannot help but cheer them on, especially during their raps. Steele's performance as Calliope is definitely a highlight, as her stage presence draws the audience into the adventure. Winter is surprisingly convincing as the young child Emily, using her voice and body language to give the audience the impression of a young girl who has a mouse for a best friend and is excited about Santa and Christmas. Noll really demonstrates great versatility as she takes on the difficult task of portraying both Amos and Amos's twin Amos of Kansas. By changing her accent, tone of voice, and way of moving, Noll makes a clear distinction between the two mice.

Another delightful element of this production is the blocking-the scene where Amos, Emily, and Calliope travel in a plane is very creative, as is the chase scene where multiple entrances are used to add humor and excitement. This adorable show will have audiences of all ages laughing and believing in the magic of the holiday. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of this busy time of year and bring the family to 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Visit®id=194& for your tickets!

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From This Author - Andrea Stephenson

Andrea Stephenson’s love of music and theatre was nurtured by her parents. She started performing as a singer and actor in elementary school, and her passion for the performing arts grew thro... (read more about this author)

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