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

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Just Posted

Langley RCMP on scene at what appeared to be a fatal bike accident. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Langley Mounties investigate bike incident

Police were on scene of what appeared to be a fatal accident

Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y Village at a federal flood funding announcement April 24, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress file)
Consortium of Indigenous chiefs seeking a way to participate in cannabis economy

All Nations Chiefs from the Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets holding online forum Dec. 2

The family owned and operated Twilight Drive-In, located in Aldergrove, has been in operation since 2005. (Aldergrove Star files)
COVID restrictions curtain Twilight Drive-In for two weeks

Owner Jay Daulat is hopeful the Aldergrove business can re-open after Dec. 7

Nearly 50 businesses and organizations from Aldergrove showcased their unique “light-up” float or display in Aldergrove’s annual Christmas Light-Up parade in 2019. (Aldergrove Star files)
Latest COVID restrictions cancels Aldergrove Christmas Light-Up parade

Annual holiday event, with socially distant restrictions in place, was set for Saturday, Dec. 12

A vehicle incident is blocking all lanes west of 216th Street on the Trans-Canada Highway in Langley on Nov. 27, 2020. Traffic is getting by only on the shoulder. (DriveBC photo)
UPDATE: New incident on Highway 1 in Langley, crashes involving 10 cars cleared

New incident is reported eastbound underneath the 216th Street overpass

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

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

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
COVID-19 tickets: No, RCMP aren’t checking vehicle occupancies, restaurant tables

Enforcement about education, not punishment says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

Most Read