A.D. Players presents “A Christmas of Many Parts” to get audiences into the holiday spirit.
Although A.D. Players typically has a quiet and pleasant atmosphere, last Thursday night’s production two ushers completely ruined that for audiences. These two women seemed to forget there were paying customers around who did not come to hear their obnoxiously loud and inappropriate laughter and chatter. If they at least laughed during humorous times during the play, it might have been acceptable, but they did not and seemed to only do it to gain audience attention. Despite the message and often humorous show, their behavior truly took away from the production overall.
The story is by founder and Artistic Director Jeannette Clift George, Kevin Dean and Joey Watkins. Watkins also directs this talented cast and enjoyable production. Scenic design by Mark A. Lewis and costume design by Donna Southern Schmidt perfectly mixes to give the production an authenticate feel. Audiences can believe the actors struggle because of how well each element of the production from lighting, scenic design and costumes combine during the play.
This play is about a production called “Nativity” which includes all the bells and whistles to sell seats and strays from a traditional, wholesome story. The play is a play within a play. Audiences get to see as actors go from auditioning to successful productions until their final show. Each actor also goes through their own struggles and throughout the show, grows and learns just as the production ask the audience to do as we enter the holiday season.
This show has a strong ensemble cast relying on four main characters Gordon Littlefield (Kevin Dean), Chad Martin (Jeff McMorrough), Charmin Tanner (Jennifer Gilbert) and Grace Williams (Patty Tuel Bailey). Each has their own strength and brings life not only to the characters they play but to the production itself. Dean, resident company, gives another impressive performance hitting his comical marks perfectly. Dean performance has a fatherly feel that exhibits both his confidence and ease on stage. McMorrough, guest artist, has appeared in multiple A.D. Player productions throughout the years and delights each time. His performances are always emotionally charged and he is a perfect complement to his fellow actors on stage.
Gilbert gives another emotionally charged and moving performance. Her character seems to go through the most external changes throughout the production with her steady acting job hanging in a limbo of uncertainty. Bailey’s character, Grace seems like the beating heart of the production. She gives not only laughs but also provides more than a few touching, moving moments. Jason Hatcher plays Brad, a character that provides more than a few laughs and his stage presence perfectly matches the ensemble.
For holiday cheer, laughs and a subtle reminder of the reason for the season, “A Christmas of Many Parts” is just the play for you. Don’t miss your chance to see this show. It runs now through December 23. For ticket information, visit their site at www.adplayers.org, call 713-526-2721 or you can purchase at the door. Tickets are going fast so get them while you can. Check out the other events going on this summer at the theater and see what shows are up ahead for both the Main stage and Children’s theater for the 2015-2016 season.