Quick plot summary (it's delightfully preposterous, so hang in there): Colin's father has died and left him a theater in the small Minnesota town of Christmas Lake (think snowcats and lutefisk and church basements). He has returned to his hometown with his wife Tess after leaving New York City and his successful career as a soap opera actor. At the last minute, the rights to their annual Christmas show, It's a Wonderful Life, are pulled, forcing them to come up with a new production overnight. The only actors they can get are the moon boot-wearing lizard-loving massage therapist Martha and the Little House on the Prairie-obsessed piano tuner Neil. They decide to stage a Christmas episode of Colin's soap As Time Ticks By to appeal to their greatest benefactor Mrs. Burlington. She's a big fan of the soap and Colin, and agrees to play a role in the show. Opening night arrives and everything falls apart, but in a so-bad-it's-good Producers sort of way. The show is a hit, the theater is saved, and Colin and Tess decide to stay in Christmas Lake and build the theater and their lives in this quirky little town they've come to love.**
|the cast of Miracle on Christmas Lake (photo by Justin Cox)|
|this is Christmas Lake (photo by Justin Cox)|
In many ways, Miracle on Christmas Lake is the origin story of Yellow Tree Theatre, and it's pretty remarkable to witness what this hastily written little play, and this theater in a strip mall in the suburbs, have turned into with a little bit of luck, hard work, talent, and a whole lot of heart. Make your way to charming downtown Osseo (it's really not that far away) to join in this delightful holiday tradition. And then come back next year for a brand new original musical (my favorite thing) Flowers for the Room, written by Jessica with frequent Yellow Tree collaborator Blake Thomas (the only flaw in this play is that it doesn't include a Blake Thomas original like the others do), and a new comedy Cry It Out. Who knew Osseo would become a destination for #TCTheater?!
*You can read about all of the holiday shows I've seen here.
**Plot summary borrowed from what I wrote about the 2013 production at Yellow Tree.