By David F. Rooney
The Revelstoke Theatre Company’s production of Dear Santa is a heart-warming Norm Foster play that may even bring a tear to the eye of the most hard-bitten Scrooge or Grinch in the audience.
Set in Santa’s workshop at the North Pole it juggles a number of subplots and tricky relationships that come to a head on Christmas Eve. Will Christmas be ruined? Will it be saved? Will love be thwarted or aided? Those tricky questions will all be answered by the end of this very cute family play.
And guess who plays Santa with a Revelstoke touch — Bob Loeppky. In the course of this two-hour play we meet a raft of people from the 12 mischievous and terminally cute elves (played by Gavin Camara, Sarah Carey, Everet Carter, Madeline Carter, Aza Deschamps, Holly Hamilton, Sophia Laurence, Mercedes Loeppky, Thomas MacDonald, Donald Robichaud, Brooklynn Webber and Cassie Whyte), his cold and aloof chief of staff Algernon Gladstone (Benjamin Menzies) who is completely oblivious to the shy and love-struck Octavia (Svea Exner), sleazy used-sleigh salesman Lou Flapdoodle (Denny Kaulback), troubled teen Kit Bishop (Darby Stillwell) and for some tongue-twisting fun the Santa’s chief handyman, Bozidar (Darren McKay).
Joanne Stacey, Paige Makerawicz, Cecilia Lea and Janine Carey Bourque perform as the Santa’s Workshop Choir and Everet Carter is Kit’s brother, Michael, while Mary Webber plays their mum.
With a cast this size it’s no wonder that Foster developed a number of different subplots. None of this is believable, of course, but that won’t stop even the neo-Scrooges and quasi-Grinches in the audience from getting sentimental and even a little weepy (I know I did!)
A final word about the set, the lighting and music. This is one of the best sets I have seen in 13 years of attending Revelstoke Theatre Company productions. It’s not complicated but a lot of thought went into its design and little touches such as the vanity wall behind Santa’s desk are quite funny. You’ll love the way the elves pivot the right-hand wall of the set and transform it into Santa’s office. As for the lighting I enjoyed the way it was used to create a night winter sky and a snowflake light show. Great work! And, finally, if you like old-fashioned Christmas songs you’ll love the medley in this play and the final song, sung by the assembled cast, will leave a lump in your throat. Bring tissues. You’ll need them.
Dear Santa is being performed at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre, 1007 Vernon Avenue, on December 6-7 at 8 pm, December 8 at 2 pm and December 12-14 at 8 pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. The RTC is offering a family pricing package — buy three tickets get one free.
Tickets are available at Powder Springs, located at 200 Third Street West, or click here to purchase them online.
There are a few images from the final dress rehearsal on the evening of Wednesday, December 4: