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Madeline’s Christmas (2016)

a Holiday Musical
CATEGORY : COMEDY MUSICAL PUPPET
by Shirley Mier (music) and Jennifer Kirkeby (words)

COMPANY : Horizon Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Horizon Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
ID# 5012

SHOWING : December 03, 2016 - December 31, 2016

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines,” begins the story of Madeline. This holiday season will be unlike any other for Madeline and her friends. While on their morning walk with Miss Clavel, the girls come down with the flu, and as they take to their bed, many wonder if they will be able to go home for Christmas. With the arrival of a mysterious stranger, Madeline and the other girls get a holiday adventure beyond their wildest dreams.

A musical play adapted from Ludwig Bemelmans’ delightful book. A holiday treat for the whole family!


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Spring Mason
Miss Clavel Maggie Birgel
Monsieur Brun/Harsha Chaz Duffy
Mrs. Murphy Lilliangina Quinones
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REVIEWS

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It’s a Jolly Holiday with Madeline
by playgoer
Sunday, January 1, 2017
4.5
Horizon Theatre Company’s production of "Madeline’s Christmas" contains sprightly songs, colorful costumes (coordinated by Aleathia Burns), delightful choreography (by Sims Lamason), a charming set (by Isabel & Moriah Curley-Clay), and bright, varied props (by Kate Bidwell LaFoy and Chase Weaver) and puppets (by the Curley-Clay sisters). Add in Mary Parker’s effective lighting design, Keena Redding Hunt’s able music direction, and Spring Mason’s energetic direction, and you end up with a feel-good holiday treat.

Of course, any production’s success depends on the actors as much as on technical elements and design. Here, the show has a terrific adult cast in Maggie Birgel as the sweet-voiced nun Miss Clavel, Lilliangina Quiñones as the vibrant Mrs. Murphy, and the charismatic Chaz Duffy in the dual roles of Monsieur Brun and Harsha, both of which he makes indelible charmers. Two alternating casts of 12 girls appear; I saw the green cast. The girls all have been put through their paces and perform ably. I was most impressed by Lindsey Blackwell as Kate, whose puppetry, lines, and actions consistently present a fully-formed character. Not all the girls are as well-spoken, and Thom Jenkins poor sound balance has music tracks predominating over many of the girls’ vocals.

Although the story takes place in France, the French spoken in the show is a consistent Americanization of the actual pronunciation. Surprisingly, it’s not as jarring as a poor approximation of the French pronunciation would be. The sprightly charm of the production wins an audience over almost immediately. It’s clear from the start that this is a storybook world, not one based in any geographic reality. Très bien! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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