For the holiday season, Carpenter Square Theatre wants your family to have a nice Christmas with their performance of A Nice Family Christmas. In this Performing Arts Q&A, Artistic Director, Rhonda M. Clark, talks about the play, what’s unique to their version, why you should see it, and more.
What five words would you use to describe A Nice Family Christmas?
Fun, fast-paced, comedy, boisterous characters.
Now, using more than five words, what’s it about?
“A Nice Family Christmas” brings a boisterous family together on Christmas Eve at Helen Lundeen’s new apartment in a suburb of Minneapolis. Their outrageous grandmother has arrived unexpectedly from Florida. As the family gathers, they receive another unexpected visit from crazy Uncle Bob who likes to tipple the spirits a bit too much, and so the evening’s wild journey begins. Middle son, Carl, has been charged to write an article for his newspaper about Christmas with his family or he’s fired. However, he doesn’t have his family’s consent. Daughter Stacy “comes out” to Grandma about being in a relationship with another woman. One by one, we learn of each family member’s secret, problem, or dysfunction, and when they all learn that Carl is writing an article with some very personal family information, the fruitcake hits the fan! The question is, can the spirit of Christmas bring them back together? Fun, fast-paced, comedy, larger-than-life characters.
What are some unique aspects for your version?
The set is decked out with Christmas decor, and since the family has Norwegian heritage, the decor includes a banner with a Norwegian Merry Christmas greeting – “God Jul.” Also, the show features lots of Christmas treats and snacks, so the audience shouldn’t arrive hungry, or they’ll be tempted to get onstage and snack along with the play’s characters!
Why have you chosen to feature this show?
The play is set on Christmas Eve and features a family that has a hard time expressing emotions, but by the end, they are learning to open up and express their love for each other – a truly great message for the holiday season.
What was the biggest challenge with this production?
Keeping the actors active and moving without stealing focus from a special moment. Otherwise, the play could turn into a family of seven sittin’ around talkin’!
What scenes or moments stand out to you that make the play worth showing to people?
There are some hilarious moments where some of the older characters let loose with some seemingly age-inappropriate actions, i.e. the show has a twerking grandmother and a tipsy uncle who’ll try just about anything with the mistletoe to try and get a kiss.
How related is this show to you and your family?
“You may think you have some annoying or quirky family members, but after seeing this show filled with quirky characters, you might feel better about the family you have!”I can totally relate to the Lundeen family, which has a hard time expressing emotions. We love each other, but lots of “I love yous” are not always bandied about in conversation.
Also, you may think you have some annoying or quirky family members, but after seeing this show filled with quirky characters, you might feel better about the family you have!
Why should one see A Nice Family Christmas?
If you want an evening out filled with lots of laughs that leaves you with a feel-good ending, then you’ll enjoy “A Nice Family Christmas.”
Anything else you want people to know?
Our 7:30 p.m. shows always have 2-for-1 adult ticket prices. That’s 2 tickets for only $20! Student tickets are only $5!
All performances are at the Carpenter Square Theatre, located at 800 W. Main in downtown Oklahoma City from November 25 to December 17, 2016