Summer is as dead as a doornail.
But with winter upon us, the Hippodrome Theatre will lift the curtain on two Christmas plays that will boost the joys of the season—and make summer fade. “A Christmas Carol” and “Murder for Two – The Holiday Edition” will kick off next week.
“A Christmas Carol” will open on Nov. 26 to continue the annual showings. Scrooge, Marley and Little Tim will run, and hop, around the stage until Dec. 23.
Gregg Jones will return as Scrooge in the production, a role he’s filled for around seven years. Before that, he played Jacob Marley for nearly 18 years.
“I think it connects with people’s hearts at this time of year about the basic principles of the holiday, of the spirit of giving, the spirit of redemption, which Scrooge goes through,” said Jones in an interview with Larry Wilson on 106.9 FM I Am Country.
Jones has gone through three or four different renditions of the play, based on Charles Dickens’ classic book. Jones said actors who played Tiny Tim as kids now come to the show with their own kids.
“[A Christmas Carol] is so enmeshed in the cultural fabric of this town and the holiday of this town,” Jones said. “It’s been such a tradition, so, it’s an honor and a pleasure to do it every year.”
The production will run every Saturday and Sunday right up to Christmas week. Then the Hippodrome will add shows on the Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday leading to Christmas Eve. You can find dates and ticket information online.
“Murder for Two” opened at the Hippodrome last year and will return in festive spirit. The two-man play tweaks the classic ‘whodunit’ story. One actor will play the detective while the other actor plays all 13 suspects, and both performers will play the piano for each other as they go.
“I’m the one who has to put up with all his shenanigans,” Paul Helm, who plays the detective, said. “So we’re at the piano and we’re running around like chickens with our heads cut off. So, it is a really fun treat.”
Helm said both he and Brady Wease, who plays all 13 suspects, are working to sprinkle the show with holiday puns and allusions. Helm said the holiday additions give the show an “extra notch of fun.”
“We’re in rehearsals right now a lot of the stuff is remembering what we did the last time and then giving it that like said that holiday flair to it,” Helm said.
“Murder for Two – Holiday Edition” will begin Nov. 25 and will run every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday Wednesday, Thursday and Friday until Dec. 22. You can find tickets and dates online.