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THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS O'Connell & Company/Ken-Ton Elmwood Commons
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Dec 15, 2021, 12:57
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THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS O’Connell & Company/Ken-Ton Elmwood Commons

This is one of those complicated play situations.
It’s not one of those Christmas “pantos.”
Instead, “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus” appears to be a musical aimed at an audience more used to sitting in Santa’s lap than sitting in a theater seat.
So, this is one of those situations where a group of parents should arrange for their kids to see the musical and then the parents can draw straws for who is the chaperone for the event.
Kids will like this show.
Adults not as much.
The story is originally from the pen of L. Frank Baum, the guy who created The Wizard of Oz and you will be reminded of that Oz atmosphere.
Here, it’s the tale of how an abandoned infant turns into adult Santa (Nicholas Lama) and creates his story with the aid of the creatures of the woods, the Council of Immortals.
He creates all of the traditions of Christmas, from presents to getting up and down the chimney (with apologies to Clement Clark Moore) and just the idea that St. Nicholas represents the best of the season.
Bert Bernardi wrote the book and lyrics for the show, with Justin Rugg contributing the music.
They aren’t exactly acolytes for Stephen Sondheim.
The story is told by Necile (Kelleigh Murry) in an impressive dress from Sara Jo Kukulka and Bret Runyon.
Those two did all of the costumes, including amazing crowns worn by Queen Zurline (Anne DeFazio) and the Great Ak (Michael J. Galante).
There are some strong voices in the show, particularly DeFazio.
Director Marykate O’Connell has a large contingent of kids who help tell the story and serve as the kids getting those first presents from Santa.
For kids, it’s undoubtedly a good show, the costumes, the music and the story.
They will like this show, especially seeing kids like them on stage.
Draw that straw for “The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus.”

A.W.

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