This Is our Village

Friday, December 11, 2015


Presented by the Act II Community Theater, December 21 at 7:00 p.m.        

It’s coming very soon: The Act Two Community Theater's presentation of their version of Charles Dickens’ beloved story “A Christmas Carol.”

Included will be the Act Two Singers and the Strictly Ballroom Dancers.

Away up north for a good part of the summer and fall, I missed a major Act Two production and didn’t see any of their rehearsals until the other evening when I popped in to Classroom C. They were rehearsing with a vengeance for “A Christmas Carol,” sitting (not acting at this rehearsal) at tables in a U shape with the maestro, Kitty Gragg, at the head. They were learning their lines, and Kitty was cracking the whip from time to time. (It was needed.)

I realized I hadn’t had a good laugh for a while, because I immediately cracked up watching these friends, our neighbors whom I’ve come to know, practice. They’re so enthused, it’s catching, and this was only a practice session, not the real thing. It was like a tonic to my soul. For example, Maureen Debigare, who is codirecting for this performance, was going from actor to actor, whispering this and that—advice I guess. But Maureen (she was Cinderella, remember?) doesn't just walk—she "flits about" like a butterfly with a certain waving of her arms, a performance in itself. 

I won’t give away too much, but I’ll tell you this much: the talented Steve Mussman is Scrooge, and the irrepressible Rhoda Weber, who can rescue any situation from failure, a handy talent to have on tap, narrates. Graggs and Graffs were there, Kitty directing as I mentioned, and John, in addition to his other duties, for the first time taking a speaking part in a performance (he has three lines). Ken Graff is photographing and videotaping, of course, and Linda Graff plays a part.

A suggestion: When John is finished saying his three lines, give him a big hand. Don’t worry about “interrupting”—they interrupt operas (not an aria or speaking part itself, though) with applause nowadays and the action just stops momentarily.

I will mention only one other person who was there because I haven’t mentioned her before: Cindy Reavis. You don’t see Cindy except at the curtain call. She is backstage very busy making sure the players make the right change of costumes and a hundred other things. She is one of Act Two's “unsung heroes.”

Come early if you want to get a seat. There have been overflow crowds in the past and some, unfortunately, have had to be turned away. The performance starts at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 21, in Classroom C in the Clubhouse.


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