You might not have had time yet to deck the halls or go wassailing or perform some other vague Christmasism, but surely you’ve noticed that Thanksgiving, our culture’s speed bump on the road to Santa, seems tiny in the rearview. So pack up the sleigh with a sugarplum or two, and prance on down to Casa Mañana for some great family fun.
What Parents Will Like: Feeling like a kid again. Once you’ve successfully avoided the merch table in the lobby — or given in with jolly abandon — you’ll get caught up in the fanciful tale of how Santa came to be: an orphan raised by wood nymphs who defeats the Frost Queen and uses his position to bring joy and hope to a hurting world. Kind of like George Clooney. Great performers, as usual — Mary McElree, Christopher Deaton and Cara Statham Serber — Casa standards that deliver every time.
What Kids Will Like: Feeling like a kid. An original musical by Casa director Joe Sturgeon, the show features classic Christmas carols reworked to tell the story, as well as original songs. Along the way, older kids will pick up on details that foreshadow how Santa became who he became. (Did you know “Kringle” was originally the name for a pretzel?) You’ll (they’ll) also learn why Santa lives at the North Pole, goes down chimneys, and fills stockings with toys. (Note: this isn’t an attempt to educate kids about the historical Saint Nicholas.)Your kids will also love taking pictures in the lobby afterwards with Santa ($20).
Good to Know: If you have younger ones, like me, and you’ve had to persuade them to come because “Santa won’t hurt you,” you might as well keep them in the lobby (like we did), because there are a few scary parts. It wouldn’t be a Casa show without someone ripping a cackling maniacal laugh or without a beast that roars with all his subwoofer glory. All good fun, though, if you’re not Thing One. (Thing Two loved every moment, and she’s 16 months, so do with that what you will.)
All in All: If your kids are in the 6-12 range, are not afraid of Santa and are into Narnia-esque fantasy with a little yuletide humor thrown in, this show’s for you. Er, for them.
Show Info: Runs through December 23 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Tickets are $20-$25. Visit casamanana.org for details.