When my wife asked if I could come with her to watch her 4-11-year-old students in a Christmas play, I can’t say I was expecting much. But as a lover of theater, the no-admission fee was too good to turn down.
This Christmas play, directed by third grade-teacher Miss Stacy, is a triumph… of failure.
Where do I even begin? This play was an abomination on every front.
I would say the direction of the play got off track, but at no point in my viewing could I figure out what direction the play wanted to go.
Is it a retelling of the Nativity story? Was it a tale of moral quandary? Was it a comedy, a drama, a tragedy? Was it meant to be educational, like a documentary on stage? Apparently, the answer to all of those questions was "yes."
Every time the play appeared to have found its footing, it was crushed by the hammed fist of a morality monologue.
Speaking of monologues, apparently the “actors” forgot that they need to speak up for people to understand a damn word they are saying.
I grant that the technicians of this play did the actors no favors, but I had no idea what was going on throughout the play because the narrator talked like her braces were stuck together.
And the rest of the actors were equally inadequate. For a play with no character development due to every actor seemingly having a single line each, there certainly were several stutters and long droughts of awkward silence, and their lines hardly consisted of Shakespearean dialogue.
And if I were the actor for Baby Jesus, I would leave town now. He has no future in the acting profession.
Hardly “tender and mild,” not only did he cry and defecate all over himself, both artistically and literally, but it was like they didn’t even try to hide his parents swiping him off stage and replacing him. His understudy was a noticeable improvement and was significantly less distracting to the rest of the production, though the understudy’s performance could best be described as uninspired and lifeless. With many professions fearing the effects of automation, I don’t think infant actors have much to fear from their baby doll counterparts.
For some reason, in a story set in the Middle East, every actor was either white or Hispanic.
Finally, we get to the rendition of “Silent Night.” I have been to car shops with fewer keys than were sung at once on-stage last night.
The lone bright spot was from four-year-old up-and-coming actor, Tristan Smith. His reimagining of the innkeeper was so fresh and original that one must wonder if he ad-libbed his own lines after reviewing the droll of a script.
Everything, from the basketball gym venue to the lumpy folding chairs, to the LED lighting to the play itself having the entertainment value of a rice museum, made for a dreadful viewing experience.
My time would have been better spent in a waiting room with no appointment. The "actors" and Miss Stacy's time would have been better spent finger painting and learning what is and is not edible.
Overall score: 2/10