The only reason I leave the house is because no one does theater in my living room, but if you're a rich eccentric owner of a mansion in New Prague, you can arrange for just such a thing! A half dozen local performers show up at what they think is an audition for a show that will go straight from New Prague to Broadway (a common trajectory), only to find that they've been tricked. The stern butler Eli (Ben Thietje) appears to tell them that the doors have been locked, and they need to create a holiday show in which each one of them sings a song, all to entertain the eccentric millionaire who needs to see a little more holiday spirit in the world (even if he has to resort to kidnapping and threats to get it).
|Amanda White, Nora Sonneborn, Ryan Lee, Lauren Anderson,|
and Amanda Mai (photo courtesy of DalekoArts)
Written by cast-members Lauren Anderson and Ben Thietje, and directed by Ben, the script is chock full of local references (who knew there was such a rivalry between New Prague and Shakopee?!) and silly gags. The entire cast is having so much fun with their characters, each one just a joy to watch. The songs are fun and well-chosen, mostly sung for comedic effect, but "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is never not poignant, especially now.
The set is a cozy warm living room that I'd like to settle into for a while (and bears more than a little resemblance to the set of Ada and the Engine, the last show performed on Daleko's intimate stage in February 2020). Christmas cheer abounds, and the cast is dressed in very specific and character-defining costumes. (Set design by Robin McIntyre, costume design by Amanda White.)
DalekoArts has a tradition of original holiday comedies, and the sweet and silly Holiday Show is another in that vein. Visit New Prague Thursdays through Saturdays (proof of vaccination and mask required, and Thursday shows are at 50% capacity).