Magenta Theater revives holiday favorite

'Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!) returns for 11 performances

By Sue Vorenberg, Columbian features reporter

Published:

 

If you go

• What: “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!)” a Christmas play that goes through several holiday tales, put on by the Magenta Theater Company.

• Where: Magenta Theater, 606 Main St., Vancouver.

• When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14 and 2 p.m. Dec. 15.

• Cost: $12 or $15, depending on seats. Reservations through the theater’s website are recommended.

• Information: Magenta Theater's website.

Clark County theatergoers have been asking the Magenta Theater to return "Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!)" to the stage since the company first performed it.

Three years after that production, fans will finally get their wish. The play, which opened Thursday, will close out the company's 10th anniversary season, said Amanda Goff, managing director.

"It was one of the first productions we had with several sell-outs," Goff said. "We decided to bring it back based on all the requests and responses we've gotten over the years."

The play takes a romp through holiday tales from across the world, including classics such as "A Christmas Carol" and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."

The company will do 11 performances of the three-man production through Dec. 15.

"It's a story within a story," said Goff, who's directing it. "It starts with 'A Christmas Carol,' and then one of the actors decides he doesn't want to do that show, so they start talking about other Christmas stories and what they mean."

If the play is as popular as it was last time around, it will probably become a regular fixture by the company every three years or so, said Jaynie Roberts, artistic director.

"Over the years, we've just got a constant 'When are you going to do that funny Christmas show again?'" Roberts said. "You really get to see the actors go through all of their ranges. They're silly, they're serious. One of them goes through several women's roles."

Cast members Al Zimmerman, Tim Klein and Steve Goodwin have to change costumes several times through the production, and on occasion several times during a scene, which is one reason the play can be challenging, Roberts said.

"They play different parts within the same stories," Roberts said. "We have three people on either side backstage to help them switch costumes."

Those expecting to see an exact replica of the performance three years ago will be in for a bit of a surprise. Beyond the different actors, director and props, the play also includes some improvisation.

"We want to make it as different as possible so the audience sees another interpretation," Roberts said. "It will be different probably every night that we do it."

The story is family friendly and is a bit unusual because it also includes some audience participation, Goff said.

"The actors ask for feedback at various points, and then they have to respond to that," Goff said. "It has some elements of improv."

Tickets cost $12 or $15, and Roberts suggests getting them early, especially considering how many sell-outs the company had last time around.

"We don't want anybody to miss this," Roberts said. "It really gets you into the mood of the holidays."

Sue Vorenberg: 360-735-4457; http://www.twitter.com/col_suevo;sue.vorenberg@columbian.com.