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Review: Casa's Christmas show a moving, magical experience

Posted Monday, Nov. 26, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all of the sales in-between, it's easy to get caught up in the Christmas consumer rush. For busy families, the holidays can be an overwhelming time. So, it's nice to get a reminder of the meaning of family and Christmas.

For me, that reminder came in the form of Casa Mañana Theatre's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas on Saturday evening. With Clement Clarke Moore's classic Christmas poem as the booming narrative, this modern day musical was poignant and delightful.

The story centers on Molly, who is sad because her father is off at war. Her mother tries to cheer her up with a Christmas Eve magical treasure hunt.

They head off to New York City and collect tokens of their adventure, passing by landmarks such as Radio City Music Hall and getting doses of good tidings.

Unbeknownst to them, they are being followed by a pair of magical elves, Jingle (Avery Presson) and Jangle (Lauren Weik), who provide a nice touch of humor and energy throughout the show. With their magic dust, each musical number transforms from a classic Christmas rendition to a raucous and lively jam.

Throughout the musical, the singing is exceptional including the voices of the children's chorus and Maurice Johnson, who plays a number of characters,  but is outstanding as the Salvation Army Santa. There's also great Central park scene is which "ice" skaters, who were actually on roller blades, aptly conveyed winter in New York.

But the heart of this show is the mother and daughter. Sara Grace Prejean gave an emotional and touching performance as Molly and Mary Gilbreath Grim, who played Molly's mother, sang a heart-wrenching version of Where Are You Christmas? that was made popular by Faith Hill.   

During that song, I watched a father in front of me glance at his two children on the left and his wife on the right, then outstretch his arms to hold them all close to him.

That's what the season is all about.  

'Twas the Night Before Christmas
Good to know: Take a photo with Santa after the performance for $20 or take a free photo by the beautiful Christmas tree. )
Recommended for: All ages.
When: Through December 23
Where: Casa Mañana Theatre, 3101 West Lancaster Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Cost: $20-$28
Info: www.casamanana.org

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