If you're a fan of Parks and Recreation, the fictional town of Dellview might remind you of Pawnee, with its earnest and/or disgruntled city employees. The play takes place at a city council meeting on December 20th, diving deep into the minutia of government that is important, but also kind of silly. Things like a growing raccoon population, or the controversy about changing the Christmas decorations from trees to wreaths. The mayor and four council members work through a few agenda items, observed by a couple of St. Olaf a capella singers who occasionally burst out into song, when the intern who doesn't know how to make coffee (an intern's number one job) shows them a letter she found in the crumbling brick walls of the building. The letter was written in 1868 by the town founder (Mr. Dell, natch), and lays out a few holiday tasks that must be completed to show that Dellview is in the holiday spirit, or the city will be dissolved. Ridiculous plot point? Yes, but it allows for a lot of ridiculous fun as the team puts on a nativity pageant using found costumes, turns the city council room into Santa's workshop, and is forced to say nice things to each other.
|yell your wishes into Santa's mouth (photo courtesy of Daleko)
|Christmas montage duet (photo courtesy of Daleko)
City Council Christmas is a fun, good-hearted, silly comedy, well-imagined and well-realized by the cast and creative team. It doesn't get much more charming than seeing a small-town Minnesota comedy in a small town in Minnesota, all decked out for the season in snow and lights. The council will be in session through the end of December, with some shows in the intimate theater already sold out, so make your plans soon if you'd like to venture south. And mark your calendars for two great plays in 2019 - the two-person trippy romance Constellations, and the Peter Pan origin story Peter and the Starcatcher.
*You can read about all of the holiday shows I've seen here.