Adventure Theatre MTC A Little House ChristmasBy Laura & Mike Clark • Nov 21st, 2012 • Category: Reviews
Adventure Theatre MTC
Adventure Theatre MTC at Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, MD
Through December 31st
Reviewed November 18th, 2012
A Little House Christmas is based on the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. A look back at a simpler time with Ma, Pa, Mary and Laura one Christmas in Walnut Grove, MN. The family makes the best of a rising creek and the possibility that Santa Claus won’t make it to the Ingalls’ home in time for Christmas. So the determined youngsters decide to help out Santa with gifts of their own for Ma and Pa.
This was a delightful, heart-warming, well-performed production. Even though Adventure Theatre MTC’s shows are aimed at children, I could see it again, something I rarely say!
Robbie Gay as Pa Ingalls gave a stellar performance. He was engaging and focused on attempting to provide for his family despite the pitfalls nature sometimes brings. His scene of “falling in the creek” was made to look quite realistic as he returned to the stage fairly wet. Hyla Matthews as Ma played her part with strength and humor as she provided for the family with lots of good food and a firm hand when it came to trying to corral an energetic little girl named Laura (Katie Littleton). Along with older sister Mary (Maya Brettell) the two seemed comfortable on stage together and had an easy rapport that helped them overcome the possible lack of a Christmas. That and having to deal with Nellie Oleson (Caroline Coleman). Nellie was stuck up and enjoyed flaunting her money at “the Country Girls” as she calls them. Mary and Laura, though not rich by material standards, had more riches than Nellie and Mrs. Oleson (Stephanie Svec) when it came to heart and compassion.
Mr. Edwards (Danny Pushkin) was a likable fellow and risked his life and dry clothes to make sure that “Half Pint” and the rest of the Ingalls family had a merry Christmas. Even quiet Uncle George (Jonathan Feuer) could not help but come out of his shell after spending Christmas Eve dinner with the Ingalls family. His quiet unassuming ways were in stark contrast to Laura’s outgoing spirit. Put these characters together and you’ve got a wonderful story, free of sensationalism and materialism, a very different story from what you may be expecting.
Scenic Designer Jake K. Ewonus created a simple, gorgeous log cabin. It was rustic, yet comfortable with enough room to eat, sleep, and dance. What else was needed? One very cool effect was the rainstorm, visible through the cabin’s windows. The backdrop was wonderful, a nicely lit prairie. Kelsey Hunt’s costumes were perfect, showing the difference between the Olesons and the Ingalls; plus helped place the show in the 1870s.
Adventure Theatre MTC’s A Little House Christmas was a delightful story looking at a simpler, more challenging, and still happier time. Treat yourself and your children to this show this Christmas season.
- Pa Ingalls: Robbie Gay
- Ma Ingalls: Hyla Matthews
- Mrs. Olesen: Stephanie Svec
- Mr. Edwards: Danny Pushkin
- Uncle George: Jonathan Feuer
- Laura Ingalls: Katie Littleton
- Mary Ingalls: Maya Brettell
- Nelli Oleson: Caroline Coleman
- Male u/s: Michael Litchfield
- Youth u/s:Emma Sophie Moore
- Female u/s: Shea-Mikal Green
- Director/Choreographer: Serge Seiden
- Assistant Director: Jacob Janssen
- Scenic Designer: Jake K. Ewonus
- Costume Designer: Kelsey Hunt
- Lighting Designer: Sarah Tundermann
- Sound Designer: Kenny Neal
- Properties Designer: Andrea “Dre” Moore
- Stage Manager: Donna R. Stout
- Asst. Stage Manager/Production Associate: Julie Roedersheimer
- Scenic Artist: Sasha Goldstein
- Master Electrician: Sarah MacKowski
- Young Company Coordinator/Stage Management Intern: Madeline Evans
- Violin Performance: Jamie Sandel
Disclaimer: Adventure Theatre MTC provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/8863.
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.