Arts & Entertainment

Holiday Classics Come Back to F.C. Stages

‘Tis the season to reward oneself for surviving the holiday madness unscathed, and Falls Church’s local theaters have just the sanctuary from crazed shopping. Creative Cauldron will present “The Christmas Cabin of Carnaween” and the Providence Players will bring “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” to the stage.

KatieCulliganandAnnaBrotmanKrass“The Christmas Cabin of Carnaween”

While the rest of the world has “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman,” patrons of Creative Cauldron have their own holiday classic, “The Christmas Cabin of Carnaween.”

Produced for its third consecutive year at Creative Cauldron, this Irish folktale once again explores the meaning of the holidays. Set during Ireland’s infamous potato famine, the tale of Oona Hegarty’s compassion during those dark times will be told with a few creative twists by this year’s cast.

“We are looking at it with a fresh eye,” said Director Laura Hull. “Last time we had one storyteller or narrator. This year we made it more of the village speaking. We have a couple of narrators, and the storytelling comes out more organically. We have new musical numbers with Irish fiddles and flutes. We are not just remounting it, we are making it stronger.”

“It is a very moving tale,” continued Hull. “There is so much wonderful and beautiful mythology in Ireland. It reminds us of what is really important, because it is set in history. There is a message that there is a reward at the end, no matter if we suffered or if there is hardship, a magical reward if you choose to believe.”

“The Christmas Cabin of Carnaween” will be staged at ArtSpace Falls Church, located in the Pearson Square building, 410 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church.

The show runs Dec. 1 – 18. Performances will be staged on Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. For more information, call 703-239-5288 or visit creativecauldron.org.

JosephLeBlancandDonNeal“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play”

Like any classic story, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” can be told over and over again. The Providence Players will once again tell the tale of George Bailey (first made famous by Jimmy Stewart in the 1946 movie), a businessman who does not see the positive impact he can have until an angel shows him the way.

For the second year, back due to popular demand, the Providence Players will stage the family-friendly production.
“It is a great show. A lot of theaters around the country actually do it,” said director Brian O’Connor. “It was originally started up in Connecticut where the playwright Joe Landry worked, and he adapted the story. After that it took off. Last year there were seven or eight theaters in the D.C. area that did the play.”

O’Connor explains that the play allows everyone to enjoy the “It’s a Wonderful Life” they know and see it from a “unique” perspective.

“This show is done in a 1940s-style radio studio where everything is done in front of a microphone,” said O’Connor. “The performers play multiple roles. They do different voices, the sound effects and costume changes all on the stage. It is very unique that the audience would see everything created. It is like being backstage at the movies and watching the performance at the same time.”

The Providence Players’ adaptation of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” will be staged at The James Lee Community Center Theater, 2855 Annandale Road, Falls Church.

The show runs Dec. 2 – 11. Performances will be staged on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. A special matinee will be staged Dec. 11 at 5 p.m.

Tickets, $18 for adults and $15 for seniors and students, can be ordered online at providenceplayers.org.