Get ready, Cleveland, because the holidays are not quite the same this year. Currently, Cleveland Public Theatre is gifting northeast Ohio with 13 cast members, in 10-15 minute scenes, and featuring three types of soup at one big show with zero partridges in a pear tree… but don’t worry: you won’t even notice the lack of partridges because of all of the wine and beer you’ll be drinking. Yippee!
Playing now through December 18, 2016 at the Gordon Square Theatre, they are lighting the lights with wall projections! They are filling your belly with sweets and alcohol! They are infusing you with Cleveland spirit!
The 2-hour and 45-minute experience (this includes a 15-minute intermission) is a full evening of original stories that are loosely strung together in the mind of a writer who is struggling with his own characters. As he fights with his deadlines, he succumbs to different versions of the Christmas visions that dance in his head.
The evening is full of playfulness, as the show in-the-round journeys into shadowy buildings with mischievous children. It skews a bit wicked with some uncouth angels and their own interpretations of Christmas carols. It plays classic but twisty with a re-telling of the Steadfast Tin Soldier via Barbies and the clever use of a loop pedal. It brings a sense of choreographic pride through a legit CLE line dance that needs to go nationwide (word, Caitlin Lewins!)
And let us all bow our heads in acknowledgement of Cleveland’s Savior King (Lebron James) in the homage via ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (In Cleveland).’
CPT also brings lots of holiday tips and tricks for staying sane via the hostess with the mostest: a 1950’s queen-of-the-holiday name Frigga (played by Dionne Atchison). Because we all need those important affirmations like, “Drinking is what makes the holidays bearable. Am i right?!” And she is Friggalicious!
Along with the joy, there is the reality. It’s not all fa la la and laughter for everyone. But there is contemplation. There is complexity. There is some darkness. The writer reminds us of the inner demons. A young girl reminds us that family can be terrifying. Molly Andrews-Hinders haunts us with an original and beautiful solo song that is questioning, longing, wondering. But in the end, there is also GOOD.
The cast is a well-put-together unit of talent featuring Molly Andrews-Hinders, Dionne Atchison, JamekaTerri, Ryan Edlinger, Faye Hargate, Holly Holsinger, Caitlin Lewins, Brandon McSwain, Sarah Moore, Adam Seeholzer, Chris Walker, Andy Weyenberg and Tecia Wilson.
They move in and out of each scene with elvish intent, and create unique moments of whimsy throughout the night and within the crowd.
Although there are moments of interaction and participation, there is never a feeling of being bullied into holiday shenanigans. The well staged and gorgeously lit evening is one that will be enjoyed whether you choose to engage with the cast or enjoy from the table.
Want some fun stories before arriving at the show? Check out the CPT website! Along with the info about the program, there’s a special section about the creators near the bottom of the “Light the Lights…” page that is especially charming. Writers include Molly Andrews-Hinders, Raymond Bobgan, John Busser, Eric Coble, Blanca Iris Garcia Salva, Holly Holsinger, Renee Schilling and Beth Wood.
Kudos to the entire creative team, which includes Raymond Bobgan & Beth Wood (Co-Directors/Lead Creators); Jakyung Seo (Lighting Designer); T. Paul Lowry (Scenic & Video Designer); Inda Blatch-Geib (Costume Designer); Kate Bindus (Stage Manager); and Elizabeth Cammett (Assistant Stage Manager & Script Supervisor). The atmosphere is a perfect blend of holiday and dazzle.
Ticket & Show Information
“Light the Lights, Ol’ Moses CLE (A Wild Holiday Romp)” is onstage now through December 18th. Performances are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at 7:30pm in CPT’s historic Gordon Square Theatre, located at 6415 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44102.
Tickets are $20 – $40. Students/Seniors receive $3 off (Friday/Saturday/Sunday). Thursdays and all previews are $20. Guests will enjoy stageside cabaret seating and table service during all performances. Purchase a table (seats 8) and receive two complimentary bottles of wine.
PURCHASE TICKETS at www.cptonline.org or call the CPT Box Office at (216) 631-2727 x 501. (Reserve early! CPT never charges any ticket fees, ever.) Every Friday is Free Beer Friday at CPT. Mingle with the artists after the show and discuss the performance in a lively, social atmosphere – your drinks are on CPT.