Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Review: THE CHRISTMAS TREE SHIP at Blue Gate Theatre

pixeltracker

The Christmas Tree Ship will have you in the Christmas mood!

BWW Review: THE CHRISTMAS TREE SHIP at Blue Gate Theatre

Blue Gate Theatre's The Christmas Tree Ship, is a new musical inspired by the true story of the famous Christmas Tree Ship, the Rouse Simmons. The story about a ship, a storm, and a Christmas story of heroic proportions. Experience one woman's unsinkable determination to continue her husband's mission of bringing Christmas trees to their Chicago community. The Christmas Tree Ship is currently playing at the Blue Gate Music Hall in Shipshewana, Indiana Monday- Saturday (various times) through January 8th.

BWW Review: THE CHRISTMAS TREE SHIP at Blue Gate Theatre We start with a man Herman known as Captain Santa (Kevin McDaniel) in Chicago along with his daughter Elsie (Lucy Phatt) and Wife (Annie Miranda) there to sell Christmas trees they hauled down from the UP on his ship the Rouse Simmons. When they run out of trees, he is encouraged to make a second trip to help solve some of his financial problems. His daughter, wanting to follow in her father's footsteps, wants to go along and learn how to sail the ship. She has taken notes on sailing from her father, and carries a book of them with her, adding more as he explains to her. Due to fears from her mother, he will not let her ride along, insisting he will return soon enough.

BWW Review: THE CHRISTMAS TREE SHIP at Blue Gate Theatre When he sets sail, very late in the season to get more trees, he encounters a storm on his way up north. On the trip we meet the Lumber Jacks (Rocky Cooper, Trenton Gunsolley, Nathan Garner, Kevin), who are convinced to cut a second load of trees. A rowdy bunch, although it takes some convincing, also loads them on the ship and even become crew to the ship.

BWW Review: THE CHRISTMAS TREE SHIP at Blue Gate Theatre

The Christmas Tree Ship is inspired by a true story and adapted for the stage by Martha Bolton, who also wrote the script with Alex Berkley. the music composed by Wally Nason. Original songs include: "Pick a Tree," "Certain Women," "Stake My Claim," "No Dame In The Game," "Some Things," "The Lumber Jacks," "Hey Lady!," and "Storm Chant." They also incorporate well known Christmas songs like "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" and "O Tannenbaum."

BWW Review: THE CHRISTMAS TREE SHIP at Blue Gate Theatre Full of wonderful singing and dancing, Blue Gate doesn't disappoint. One of the smaller musical numbers that stuck out to me was sang by the "Society" Ladies of Chicago: Mrs. Nussbaum, Clair, and Rose (Nicole Leis, Lexi Witcher, Beech Ward) in their song "The Lumber Jacks." It very much gave me the "Jitterbug" vibes ("Jitterbug" was a song originally scored for the Wizard of Oz, but was cut from the original movie, but has appeared in variations of the show and musical since). The Christmas Tree Ship is a show that will set you sailing into the holiday season, and will be singing or humming the songs when you leave like you've always known them even the originals. The song writing of the Blue Gate Musical group is wonderful. With many of the songs reminding me of songs from other musicals.

BWW Review: THE CHRISTMAS TREE SHIP at Blue Gate Theatre

Does Captain Santa make it safe to the U.P.? Will they get the second load of trees back to Chicago? Can they save Christmas in Chicago? Will Elsie finally get to sail and possibly even captain the ship? Don't miss this inspirational tale, inspired by a true story that will remind us all of the importance of tradition, kindness, and the joy of Christmas. I highly recommend going to Shipshewana and seeing Blue Gate's production of The Christmas Tree Ship. Don't forget to enter to win the free pie when you go to see the show, made fresh daily down stairs in the Bakery.

The Christmas Tree Ship is currently playing at the Blue Gate Music Hall in Shipshewana, Indiana Monday- Saturday (various times) through January 8th. For more information and tickets visit: https://www.thebluegate.com/shipshewana/blue-gate-theatre/schedule/index.php?artist=1599

For more information on other shows at the Blue Gate including Half-Stitched the Musical, Dear Soldier Boy, and Our Christmas Dinner, Connect with Blue Gate Theatre on Facebook at: facebook.com/bluegaterestaurant, on twitter at: @BlueGateIN, on Instagram at: @bluegateofficial/ and online at https://www.thebluegate.com/shipshewana/blue-gate-theatre/schedule/index.php.

Connect with Blue Gate Musicals LLC on Facebook at: facebook.com/bluegatemusicals/ and online at bluegatemusicals.com to see all their other shows they have written and license.


Related Articles View More Detroit Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

From This Author Brian Hilbrand