Theater Round-Up | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Theater Round-Up

New Stage Theatre, "A Christmas Carol,"

Legend has it that Charles Dickens, author of "A Christmas Carol," wrote the tale to make money to pay off some huge debts. If its popularity means anything, his debts were paid.

Set in Victorian London, Ebenezer Scrooge, the protagonist of the play, is obsessed with money. He's spent his life accumulating it, and anything that won't help him get more is a waste of his time. One night, though, he learns lessons he won't soon forget about camaraderie, love and the Christmas season through the efforts of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

If you need a reminder of why the holidays, family and friends are so important, don't miss New Stage's presentation of this holiday classic. The show runs Dec. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10 and 17, 2 p.m.; and a 10 a.m. matinee Dec. 16. $18.

Maddrama Theatre Co., "Black Nativity"

"Black Nativity" tells the nativity story of scripture with music, dance and the literary works of Langston Hughes. The fusion of the traditional story from 2000 years ago and African American church culture in this two-part play is glorious with gospel music from the past 100 years and dancers galore. The work begins in total darkness while the chorus sings "Go Tell it on the Mountain."

The show is one of the first ever written by an African American to be performed on Broadway, in 1961, and has been staged every year since 1969 at Tremont Temple in Boston, Mass. But you can see it here Friday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m. at McCoy Auditorium on Jackson State's Campus; Saturday, Dec. 2,
7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 3, 3 p.m. at Anderson United Methodist Church at 6205 Hanging Moss Rd. $10.

New Stage Unframed, "The Mercy Seat"

The tragic day, Sept. 11, 2001, will be ever etched in American's minds. Neal La Bute's dramatic interpretation of the event is centered around a couple's life together and their relationship drama that goes on simultaneously. The female lead, Abby, finds her self trapped in a secret affair with a man who has a wife and children. As their relationship drama unfolds, it reaches its peak a mere 20 hours following the collapse of the Twin Towers.

This play can be gut-wrenching at times, but does have its light moments. Because of its serious nature and content matter exploring war, the battle of the sexes and the struggle to balance selfishness and selflessness, however, it is recommended that only mature audiences come to see it.

Taking stage Thursday, Dec. 7, the play will be at New Stage through Dec. 16, $5.

Vicksburg Theatre Guild, "Best of Friends"

The basic facts about "Best of Friends" are these: There's a philandering patriarch who returns to the family he abandoned to his introduce to them his new fiancée. The basics certainly don't sound humorous at all, but James Elward, the playwright, has found a way. You see, Archer Connaught, the philandering author, was reported to have died in a plane crash. He didn't die, though. And his widow, to whom he says he was never legally married, causes problems for him and his relationship with his new companion. But the complications don't stop there. To see just how convoluted things can get, drive to Vicksburg.

Vicksburg's Theatre Guild presents the play two weekends in a row, Saturday, Dec. 1-3 and Dec. 8-10. Friday and Saturday, the show starts at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, 2 p.m. All performances will be held at Vicksburg Parkside Playhouse (101 Iowa Ave.). $12, $10 seniors, $7 students,
$5 children.

Other performances to note:

Chimneyville Readers Theatre, "A Christmas Memory" New Stage Theatre, Sun., Dec. 3 at 4:30 p.m. Free. Mississippi Puppetry Guild Puppet Wonderland, "Nutcracker Suite" Millsaps College Christian Center, Dec. 7, 8, 13 and 15, 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. $6. Winter Film Festival at Smith Park downtown "Elf," Thurs., Nov. 30, 7 p.m.; "It's A Wonderful Life," Fri., Dec. 8, 7 p.m.; and "The Polar Express," Fri., Dec. 15, 7 p.m. Free.

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