At Smiles Department Store, window dresser Jack Frost is a big believer in an old-fashioned Christmas. The title character of “Yours Truly, Jack Frost,” doesn’t even know what a credit card is!
Theatre Harrisburg has rounded up a talented bunch of third- through seventh-graders for its production of Tim Kelly’s allegorical tale about the war between Christmas spirit and Christmas greed.
Evilina of the Muggleworth Advertising Agency, who believes money is the answer to everything, wants the good-natured Frost to sign over his Frost formula and begin selling shoddy products like Jack Frost Burgers and Jack Frost T-shirts.
Who will win out—Evilina’s malicious marketing or Jack Frost’s holiday goodwill?
Theatre Harrisburg’s youth show, which also includes a Christmas carol sing-along, is on stage through Sunday at the Krevsky Center in Harrisburg.
“Yours Truly, Jack Frost,” is just one of a batch of holiday shows currently on central Pennsylvania stages, as area theaters offer Christmas treats ranging from the classic to contemporary.
Offerings include two productions of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” one by Open Stage of Harrisburg and the other by Totem Pole Playhouse at Gettysburg’s Majestic Theatre. Another beloved show is Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s annual production of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker,” this weekend at Hershey Theatre and featuring musical accompaniment by conductor Stuart Malina and the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.
The Playhouse at Allenberry wants to charm audiences with a more contemporary offering, “The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever,”
Meanwhile, Hershey Area Playhouse is offering an old chestnut in “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and Gamut Theatre Group puts a comedic spin on Dickens with “A Popcorn Hat Christmas Carol” for children.
Then there’s “The Santaland Diaries,” a hilariously subversive look at Christmas retail that nonetheless manages to display sleigh loads of holiday spirit.
Open Stage is once again offering the one-man show based on an essay by David Sedaris about his experience as a Santa elf at Macy’s Department Store in New York City. Jeff Luttermoser will take over the starring role as Crumpet the Elf, taking over a role that Open Stage Artistic Director Stuart Landon handled the past several years.
“I’ve truly fallen in love with Crumpet,” Landon said. “The character is a hoot to play. It was a lot of fun seeing Jeff ... take on the role.”
Performances of “The Santaland Diaries” will be at Open Stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, plus 9:30 p.m. Dec. 21 and 22. A special performance also is on tap at Harrisburg’s River City Blues Club and Dart Room, starting at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Due to language and subject matter, “The Santaland Diaries” is recommended for mature audiences.
Rhoda Penmark seems like a typical 8-year-old girl, polite and charming. But her mother begins to suspect Rhoda has a dark side when one of her young classmates drowns mysteriously and her babysitter dies from a fall down the stairs.
“The Bad Seed,” a classic thriller that opens Jan. 12 at Little Theatre of Mechanicsburg, created a sensation in 1954 when William March published his novel of the same name. While murderous children are almost a staple in contemporary horror films — from Stephen King’s “Children of the Corn” to “The Ring” — March was playing in mostly undisturbed waters at the time.
March, who died a month after his novel was published, did not see it become a bestseller or know of the hit play and movie that followed. His influential work continues to resonate with audiences even after more than 60 years.
LTM’s production, adapted from March’s novel by Maxwell Anderson, is the fourth show of the community theater’s 67th season. This creepy show, which may make a nice change for audiences after December’s relentless holiday cheer, runs through Jan. 28.