Adventure Theatre ‘Twas The Night Before ChristmasBy Laura & Mike Clark • Nov 29th, 2011 • Category: Reviews
Adventure Theatre, Glen Echo, MD
Through January 2, 2012
Reviewed November 26th, 2011
‘Twas The Night Before Christmas is a light-hearted play by playwright Ken Ludwig, with a bit of music and dancing. It is not your mother’s telling of Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem. Ken Ludwig takes this adventure in a totally different, family friendly direction.
The five actors play ten different characters. Emily (played by Emily Levey) did a great job playing the lead, of a young girl whose best friend just happens to be a mouse. She had such enthusiasm and devotion to her part that she was a treat to watch. All of the characters were so expressive in telling their story. Sir Guy, Gary Sloan played the once loyal elf turned naughty and nice list stealer. Sloan also had great timing to make his character come alive. He and Amos the Mouse (played by Rex Daugherty) performed a great sword fight scene together that was very well choreographed, but may be a bit too much for very young children. Calliope the elf (Rachel Zampelli) came with the group to make Santa see that the Sneed house was skipped last year and to make sure it doesn’t happen this year. Zampelli’s movements really worked well to keep the young audience engaged. And of course no renegade elf is complete without a trusty elf sidekick, Multch, played by Alex Perez. Perez was eager to please and protect even though he wasn’t always sure what was going on. And no Christmas story would be complete without the big man in red himself, who received a huge exclamation when he arrived unexpectedly in the middle of a scene.
Bright colorful costumes were designed by Chelsey Schuller. Set Designer Luciana Stecconi made a moveable set that rotated between the Sneed home and Santa’s Workshop with ease. The music was piped in via computer, but it all flowed well and the rap song performed by Emily, Amos, and Calliope was great.
And what Ken Ludwig play (Moon Over Buffalo, Shakespeare In Hollywood) would be complete without a chase sequence, featuring mistaken identities and door slamming? ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas has those too, along with enough humor to keep both adults and children happy. ‘Tis a new story for the holidays, told with a twist.
- Amos: Rex Daugherty
- Emily: Emily Levey
- Wendell Sneed/Multch/Santa: Alex Perez
- Uncle Brierly/Sir Guy: Gary Sloan
- Brittania Sneed/Calliope: Rachel Zampell
- Director: Jerry Whiddon
- Playwright: Ken Ludwig
- Movement/Choreography: Karin Abromaitis
- Assistant Director: Jason Schlafstein
- Set Designer: Luciana Stecconi
- Lighting Designer: Andrew Griffin
- Costume Designer: Chelsey Schuller
- Props Designer: Andrea “Dre” Moore
- Music Director: Wayne Chadwick
- Sound Designer: Brandon Roe
- Voice Coach: Melissa Flaim
- Scenic Artist: Sasha Goldstein
- Stage Manager: Mallory Shear
- Asst. Stage Manager: Julie Roederscheimer
- Asst. Stage Manager: Christian Beltran
- Master Electrician: Sarah MacKowski
- Dance Captain: Emily Levey
- Fight Captain: Gary Sloan
Disclaimer: Adventure Theatre provided three complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/7415.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.