Dolls are the Stars of Youth Theatre Play
Holiday tale runs through Dec. 19
When was the last time you were encouraged to dust off your favorite childhood doll and bring it to a local musical production? That's just what Gary Minyard, Pennsylvania Youth Theatre's Artistic Director, encourages you to do when attending this year's production of "The Christmas Doll."
Just before the show began this Saturday evening, Minyard brought out his toy octopus and asked members of the audience to raise their own dolls. He touched upon what his octopus had meant to him, foreshadowing the events about to unfold onstage.
The play incorporates many musical numbers, showcasing local talent in the high caliber of performances that PYT is known for. "The Christmas Doll" is a new play, written by Joan Cushing. It is based on the book written by Elvira Woodruff, a resident of Martin's Creek. This is the play's second consecutive year in production at the youth theatre.
The premise of the play is simple, based on the spirit of giving and the power of hope. Two orphaned sisters, Lucy and Glory, escape a dreary workhouse for orphans, only to battle the mean streets of 1840's London. Through a few chance encounters, the sisters make some meaningful friends.
Everything changes when they find a powerful doll; is this Glory's long lost childhood doll? Will Glory survive on the streets, or is her cough the beginning stage of the deadly fever that swept through the workhouse? Glory's older sister, Lucy, weaves loving tales of the childhood, which Glory is too young to remember, in an effort to keep her hope alive.
The entire ensemble is outstanding, with many actors playing multiple parts. One standout performance is Lynn Flickinger as Mrs. Thimblebee, the proprietor of a doll shop. Her solo is sure to touch everyone in the audience as she sings about the fate of her sister, one of Thimblebee Doll Shop's embroidery girls. Another standout number is "I Get By," the song shared by orphaned street performer Nick Button and the two main characters.
This is a family-friendly holiday musical which reminds the audience that the love of family and the power of hope take many – sometimes unexpected – forms. It is a great way to spend an afternoon or an evening. Families are encouraged to bring children ages three and up, and of course, their special childhood friends.
"The Christmas Doll" is showing through December 19th at The Charles A. Brown Ice House in Bethlehem. There are two casts; more information is available online. For tickets and additional information, go to www.123pyt.org or call 610-332-1400.
Correction: The story was corrected at 10 p.m. Sunday evening to reflect the proper title of the play: "The Christmas Doll." Also, the play runs through Dec. 19th.