WATCH: Classic Christmas story makes its Canadian debut on a Langley stage

WATCH: Classic Christmas story makes its Canadian debut on a Langley stage

Theatre in the Country presents The Man Who Saved Christmas, running Nov. 28 to Dec. 14

A beloved seasonal story is making it’s Canadian debut right here in Langley; The Man Who Saved Christmas is coming to Theatre in the Country (TITC).

Running from Nov. 28 until Dec. 14, the musical set in 1917 as America gets embroiled in the First World War and is loosely based on the true story of A.C. Gilbert, the inventor of The Erector Set.

The old-fashioned style story focuses on Gilbert’s battle with the U.S. government as it attempts to ban toy sales during the holiday season.

Famous for the 2002 film version starring Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander, it was adapted into a musical by Ron Lytle in 2006, which was performed throughout the United States on different professional and amateur levels.

TITC artistic director Reg Parks said after the previously planned productions of Elf and It’s a Wonderful Life fell through, the discovery of this original production turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

“We were sent a sample pack and saw that it was a new and unique story that hadn’t been done before,” Parks explained. “This will actually be the Canadian premiere and we’re in direct contact with the author Ron Lytle who helped us with professional backing tracks, which was neat.”

Rachel Sterns directs the whopping cast of 24, who will all be storming the decked-out stage in period costumes and belting out professionally choreographed tunes.

Adrianne Klager, a 14-year-old Walnut Grove resident, plays one of the leading roles in the production; despite having to sing and participate in dance numbers, she said her biggest challenge was to play a 10-year-old character.

“I play Ellen, who’s 10. I’m already tall, so I had that working against me,” Klager admitted. “But her mom has died and she has to go live with her aunt and uncle – it’s a great Christmas story that’s heartfelt and funny.”

Klager previously made her stage debut with TITC last season of the Christmas production of Two From Gallolie.

“I’ve only done Christmas shows because it’s the only time of the year that I could do it because of school,” Klager explained. “I like doing community shows – they’re not super hard and a lot of fun.”

Some of songs include “We’ve Got A Lot to Do,” “All I Want for Christmas,” “What’s Wrong With the Grown-ups?,” “You and Me,” and “A Very Merry Christmas After All.”

“The show is interesting because it is based on a true story,” Parks explained, “A.C. Gilbert had at one time the biggest toy company in the world and really did make this big speech to the U.S. government.”

Despite a history steeped in consumerism and merchandise, Parks said it’s an absolute feel-good tale, perfect for audiences looking for some warm entertainment this winter.

“It embodies a great spirit of Christmas and has a simple message – love, peace, and caring for your neighbour,” Parks added. “Plus, it also has some nice turns and the idea of children pointing out what’s wrong with adults.”

The Man Who Saved Christmas will conclude the 2019 season for the theatre company.

The 2020 season will be TITC’s eighth overall and third in Langley. TITC spent its first five in Maple Ridge before moving to 5708 Glover Rd.

TITC rents out their space from Langley Vineyard Church, who completed some renovations to freshen up the theatre space with a complete paint, flooring, and fixture upgrade of the lobby and bathrooms earlier this fall.

TITC is of course a dinner theatre, meaning an option to dine in while viewing the show will be once again be offered.

Over the Top Catering supplies the food which include roast beef, salads, veggies, mashed potatoes, and homemade squares, tarts, and brownies for dessert.

For tickets and to see the full schedule, people can visit www.theatreinthecountry.com.

Read More: Agatha Christie adaptation needs Langley actors

Murder on the Nile, an Agatha Christie mystery adaptation, will kick the 2020 year off in February with a whodunit murder set aboard a luxurious and exotic cruise.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

 

WATCH: Classic Christmas story makes its Canadian debut on a Langley stage

Just Posted

Tina Taphouse is pictured in Langley, B.C., Monday, June 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Langley woman says her mother put her up for adoption to avoid Kamloops residential school

Tina Taphouse said she’s sharing her family’s story so those who went to the schools don’t have to

Single Moms Oil Change in 2017. (Aldergrove Star files)
Single Moms Oil Change to be held for first time in more than one year

Free oil change for single parents offered by Acts of Kindness at Church in the Valley on Sunday

Langley Grad Week 2021 runs June 21-25. (Langley School District Facebook)
Langley Grad Week 2021 starts today

Community is invited to celebrate this year’s graduates

The new bike lockers at Langley’s Carvolth park and ride station are solar powered and open and close with a smartphone app. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Solar powered bike lockers in Langley’s Carvolth open with an app

The new TransLink lockers are part of a pilot program

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctos urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

Most Read