“A Christmas Schooner” sailed into Encore Theater on Friday evening and will leave the Amil Tellers’ port on Sunday.
It is a new experience for almost every audience member, because we have not been bombarded by CDs, posters or Broadway reviews. The obvious reason is that the show did not come from Broadway, so we didn’t see it in the Thanksgiving Day parade. There is a particular joy in having the opportunity to form an opinion without having someone tell you what you should think. And, because I found it so enjoyable, I want the rest of the attendees to decide for themselves. If you have a heart for the holidays, it is worth seeing.
Reviewing this show would be like writing a critique of a sermon or the Christmas pageant presented for a Sunday school program. Could I express my opinions on the quality of the performance? Absolutely. I have many times before, and I assure you I will again (if I don’t lose this job). However, there was a haunting quality about “A Christmas Schooner” that doesn’t want to be analyzed. It oozed with Christmas spirit, and I just don’t think I should tamper with that feeling. Check it out for yourself. There are three more opportunities.
There are about 15 people, most of whom are on stage for the majority of the show. They sing, dance, and make us laugh and cry. They pull us in to a simple folk tale and urge us to care. There is no glitz or glamour. The set, props, costumes and lighting are unmemorable. There is just a spirit of the holidays that prevails. There is a sweet innocence about this show, no sense of overacting, upstaging or ego. It just is.
Now, there is a space to fill for the newspaper. Encore is holding a silent auction during this production. The bidding closes at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. There are some works of art, some cookbooks and some goodies baskets. You can bid on a bowling package or jewelry. You may want to take a look when you buy your tickets or during intermission of the show.
Encore is always in search of untapped talent. There are three more shows this season and there’s always next year. Put acting on your bucket list or make a New Year’s resolution. They probably need you. You could ease in by volunteering backstage. After a while you might say, “Well, I could do that well!”
Two more items must be addressed.
First, for the actors and technical staff who were looking forward to a review, I apologize. I know if I thought I had done a pretty good job I would want to see it in print. I am sure, however, that several are totally relieved. No brutal honesty here.
Secondly, while I am telling nothing about the production or how well it was performed, I do want the seats to be filled with discerning individuals who want to judge for themselves. I promise an opinion next time. We have just finished with Thanksgiving, Hanukah is in progress and Christmas is waiting in the wings. There are amazing ways to celebrate the season. This is just one of them.
Merry Christmas and happy New Year.