The hero of our story is Caroline (Tara Lucchino), who is fired from her big city marketing job and dumped by her fiancé just two weeks before Christmas. To distract her from her misery, her friend buys her a Groupon (remember those?) to an inn in a charming small town called Wannacutatree (get it?). She just wants to sit in the inn and read, but of course, the movie tropes have other plans for her. Both the town sheriff (Derek Dirlam) and coffee shop owner (Annick Dall) vie for her affections (I'm not sure if the Hallmark movie has embraced LGBTQ+ romances, but it's nice that this play does), and she gets pulled into helping a group of townspeople try to save their annual Christmas fair by using her marketing skills. There's no mystery as to where this story ends - happily of course - but it's fun to watch the clichés unfold.
|an unexpected love triangle (Annick Dall, Derek Dirlam, |
and Tara Lucchino, photo by Emily Barrera)
The Crane Theater's performance space looks very festive and cozy. The outdoor scene on one half includes huge trees (which are rotated to reveal ornaments at various points in the show), hay bales, cotton snow, a sledding hill, and snowmen (including one "built" before our very eyes!). The Valley Peak Inn / Risky Bisqueness coffee shop on the other half is full of books, holiday decor, and other tchotchkes (including a leg lamp). It's all very detailed and thorough, and feels just like one of those Christmas movies come to life. From big city to small town gear, and lots of outerwear, the costumes are spot-on too. (Scenic design by Gaea Dill-D'Ascoli, costume design by Rubble&Ash).
nimbus' Christmas count-up is down to seven - click here to purchase tickets to one of the remaining performances of Nimbus Presents: A Count Up to Christmas (through December 18, all shows on a sliding scale fee).