Curtain Call: Back at Earlene's Diner
Seven Angels Theatre, Waterbury: She’s back. Michelle Gotay who has become a Christmas tradition at Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury with her Earlene’s Diner holiday shows has added a new twist this year. She is casting her comic alter ego, Earlene Babcock into the role of Scrooge — Mrs. Scrooge, that is. The town is Pottsville, and the celebration is the production of A Christmas Carol.
What really makes this production so much fun is that it is made up of a huge cast of local actors who unselfishly, show after show, entertain area audiences. In this wacky production, the actors are having a lot of fun and in so doing make fun contagious. There is something immensely reassuring and absolutely beautiful about a stage filled with actors aged from little tots to venerable seniors. They sing solos, dance, show off their skills and all of this is wrapped in the joy of holiday season. So many lives and so much talent are gathered on the Seven Angels stage that I’m surprised the theater is not bursting at its seams.
The plot needs more substance, but essentially Earlene agrees to play Mrs. Scrooge because the actor who is supposed to be playing the role is missing in action. As usual, everyone counts on Earlene, who owns the local diner that is always facing foreclosure, to save the day. The production is conceived, written and directed by Semina DeLaurentis with music director Joe Ganci and choreographer John Carter. This super-talented trio brought out the best of the local performers.
It really is a huge cast but most theatergoers will immediately recognize the host-with-most Thomas Chute, Timothy Cleary as Santa, William Wilson as the comic’s comic and John Fabiani, who knows how to die on stage better than most actors. Expect to hear the wonderful holiday sounds of songs like: Sleigh Ride, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, I’ll be home for Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Silent Night, and a Christmas medley with all of the traditional holiday songs.
For this production, Scott Cally provided the lighting design, Daniel Husvar, the scenic design, Matt Martin, the sound design and Claire Guadette the costume design. This is a very lively production that makes old and young feel a burst of energy emanating from the stage. Expect to join in with Christmas Carols and meet and greet Santa in the lobby after the show. The production plays through Dec. 22, which means you can treat your guests out for an evening of fun even as Christmas unfolds. Box office: 203-757-4676
Joanne Greco Rochman is an active member in The American Theatre Critics Association. She welcomes comments. Contact: email@example.com