On Dec. 14, the opening show for the Tacoma Little Theater’s production of Ken Ludwig’s version of the classic poem, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” was a smash hit. With almost every seat filled with families and children, excitement filled the atmosphere with some good holiday cheer. With a cup of steaming, delicious hot apple cider and a decorated stage with anticipating with fun, the audience knew they were in for a good show. 

Based off of the poem, the story follows a little girl Emily (played by Evie Merrill) and her best friend mouse Amos (Lowell Elementary student, Jack Burns) as they realize that Santa Claus did not stop at their home the previous year. Determined to have Santa (played by Jay Lurvey) visit their home and find Santa’s Naughty-or-Nice list, a member of the Elf-B-I Calliope (played by Alexandria Bray from St. Charles Borromeo school) teams up with Emily and Amos to try to save Christmas. With no help from the evil Sir Guy of Gisbourne (played by Todd van der Ark), there is a battle to find the Naughty-or-Nice list, ending the show with messages of morality and lots of holiday fun. 

Being part of the audience for this show was extremely entertaining. Not only did the five-member cast interact with audience members, but they also had everyone laughing out of their chairs. Van der Ark’s characters of Uncle Brierly/Sir Guy of Gisbourne and Lurvey’s Wendell Sneed/Mulch/Santa Claus were a hit with the audience, as they fumbled for the wanted Naughty-or-Nice list. Adults and parents could relate to these characters, giving just an extra little ‘oomph’ to the show.  Bray’s character(s) were a hit as well, as she had incredible stage presence. Be on the lookout in the future — she will go far in her acting career. However, young Merrill and Burns truly stole the show. Their humor, consistent beaming on the stage, and overall presence were contagious — looking around, audiences were smiling from ear to ear. 

“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” was a five-star show. The timing was perfect — not too long, not too short. The ambiance of the quaint TLT was welcoming and comforting, and their concessions were affordable and simply delicious. If you’re looking for a show, the next show is Dec. 22 at 6:00 p.m. Get your tickets now, as the show will soon be sold out. Lastly, give the TLT a try for your next live show. The tickets are at a great price, cute location, and time well spent. 

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