- The Christmas show that has become a tradition at the
Waukesha Civic Theatre keeps improving every year. It
was originally conceived by artisitic director John Cramer,
and over the years has been tweaked for the better, this year
with the help of Jacob Sudbrink and Jes Hancock.
is the fourth production of “Candy Canes and Holiday
Carols,” and, in my view, the best so far. Other than a few
minor glitches - late cues and forgotten lines - things went
very smoothly during a recent visit. The audience was very
responsive, and it was obvious that the people were loving
what they were seeing and hearing.
music by Jacob Sudbrink, the costuming by Nikki Maritch, the
scenic design by AJ Simon, the choreography and overall
direction by Jes Hancock, the lighting by Aason Schmidt, the
sound design by Scott Fudal and the mix of humor and serious
message - all the elements were well-coordinated. No small
task with a cast of 30.
of the same people have participated in this show every year,
but the show is kept fresh thanks to some new faces and
Kulinski, the youngest member of the cast, certainly gained
her share of the attention. At times, all eyes were glued to
Albers and Lily Baranowski also intrigued us with their
renditions of “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front
Teeth” and “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.”
other children in the show played multiple roles and did so
with earnestness and aplomb, but there are too many to mention
each by name.
the older performers, Isaiah Reynolds was a wonderfully awful
Grinch, and Owen Reynolds and Kaitlyn Downing did a nice job
on their duet of “Winter Wonderland.”
lovely tune, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was performed by
Paul Burkard and Teri Downing.
Burkard is always a treat, no matter what he does.
Kaitlyn Downing, Alexa Farell and Grace McDonell were a
loved the energy of the Miser-Minion pieces. Both Jeff Barta
and Mark Cage and their little companions were amusing and
series that portrayed Christmas in other countries was
expanded this year to include Germany, Mexico, Hawaii and
melodies and costumes were well chosen.
Graffenius wowed us with his resonant renderings of “White
Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
He can come back anytime.
the humor department, “The Restroom Door Said Gentlemen”
was an unexpected treat, and “The Twelve Pains of
Christmas” was also clever. Burkard’s lighting fiasco was
particularly funny, and something we can all relate to if
we’ve experienced the frustrations of putting up the lights.
sheer beauty, the “Carol of the Bells” and “Silent
Night” moved us deeply.
this show can’t get you into a holiday mood, nothing will.
It’s nostalgic but also modern, especially in the
children’s wish list to Santa. When word gets out about this
show, the crowds will swell. You don’t want to miss it.
Canes and Holiday Carols” continues weekends through Dec. 16
at the Waukesha Civic Theatre, 264 W. Main St., Waukesha. Call
542-0708 or visit www.waukeshacivictheatre.org
for show times and tickets.