- Last Updated on 08:21 AM 11/04/13
- BY Greg Donner/Special to The Gazette
Think of all the things that make a musical great: giant dance numbers, memorable songs, positive social values and of course a bit of romance. Halifax County Little Theatre’s latest production has them all, especially the romance. The play is a Virginia premiere of “The Man Who Saved Christmas” by Ron Lytle.
The story is based loosely on a real incident during World War I when the government attempted to stop toy production for Christmas to support the war effort. The story’s hero is Johnny, a newspaperman, who starts out trying to help the beleaguered toy maker and of course finds romance with the company secretary, Alice.
The couple has to overcome some obstacles on the way to true love, but that only makes the story more interesting. Johnny and Alice are played by real life husband and wife Scott and Tasha Dyer. They are enjoying the unique opportunity to share some fun time on stage in these lead roles.
Tasha has been on the Little Theatre stage before, appearing in “A Christmas Carol.” This is a much bigger role, and she encouraged Scott to join her in auditions after she read an article saying it called for, “a charming man and a sassy woman.” Tasha said she called Scott and said, “We have to try this!”
Since being cast in the leads, both say it has been nothing but enjoyment. They add, “The whole cast is wonderful throughout, and the big musical numbers are going to be the hit of the show.” Tasha also adds, “The best part is the chance to pretend to be someone else for a little while. It is just fun to make believe.”
As with most love stories, there has to be a foil to make the path difficult. This part falls to Jeremy Duffer, who plays the toy company foreman who is also attracted to the boss’s secretary.
Duffer said, “It is a very different part than I have had before. I was thinking it would be nice to audition for the hero, but the villain is even more challenging.”
Duffer’s previous stage appearances include last year’s “Ton Sawyer” and “How I Became a Pirate.” Being the villain not only gives Duffer a chance to expand his resume, but it provides him with one of the biggest songs in the show as he battles for Alice. The best part is that the scene allows him to display his comic side as well as his singing talent.
Duffer also praises his fellow actors and directors.
He said, “I think it is wonderful that we get to be one of the first groups to do this play. I think the audiences will really like it.”
He also appreciates that the play has songs that will appeal to a large audience.
He added, “I can’t wait for opening night to show off all that we have done.”
Little Theatre has found a very special play for their audiences, and Director Kristin Berry and people who have seen rehearsals are most enthusiastic about the play, the music and the cast.
Tasha, Scott and Jeremy are major players in the show, and the rest of the cast is showing the same level of talent. The forecast is for some great entertainment on The Prizery stage.
“The Man Who Saved Christmas” is a great holiday story, a romantic comedy and toe tapping musical. Make plans to attend and bring the whole family. The show opens at 7:30 on Nov. 15 and has additional performances at the same time on Nov. 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30. Two matinee shows are planned at 3 p.m. on Nov. 17 and 24.
Season tickets for the entire Little Theatre season or tickets for this show are available from The Prizery box office or by calling 572-8339.
To have a season brochure mailed, call 572-2139 to see the entire season offered by Little Theatre.
For this Christmas musical, try to make the opening weekend. One time might not be enough when the Christmas spirit strikes.