Welcome to the lobby of The Snowflake Inn in Tinsel, Texas! Matt Schedler directs Cary Players community-theater presentation of Jones Hope Wooten’s 2010 comedy, Dashing Through the Snow. The production is just over two hours of fast-paced fun, and last night’s opening-night audience loved it.
How many zany interactions can take place in the lobby of one Bed-and-Breakfast in the four days immediately preceding Christmas? Soon you will meet:
- The owner/operator, her assistant, and a demanding B&B critic;
- Mrs. Claus and a rather large elf;
- A pair of well-meaning siblings and their two cantankerous aunts;
- The lead actors and stage manager from a touring production of A Christmas Carol; and
- A wedding party that includes an angel.
Be prepared to laugh at the foibles of a would-be tryst, an attempted reconciliation, a thwarted “burial,” and a problematic sixth marriage (or is it really “5b”?). Add to all of that the demands of running your own business. Would it drive you crazy? Or at least drive you to drink?
The set (designed by Brad Sizemore and built by master carpenters Bob Grannan and Ian Robson and their team) is elegantly realistic — right down to the staircase at the back, the swinging doors to the kitchen, and the tasteful (over-)decorating for Christmas. The tall Christmas tree that remains lit between scenes is a nice touch.
Lighting (designed by Michael Lefler) is spot-on, as are costumes (designed by LeGrande Smith).
The cast works together very well, and they all quite obviously enjoy themselves. It is a mix of Cary Players “regulars,” seasoned “veterans” of various Triangle venues, a few relative newcomers, and improv artists from Raleigh’s ComedyWorx.
With an ensemble this talented, it is hard to pick standouts. But we have to ask a few rhetorical questions:
- Can any local actor play “disdain” and “attitude” as well as Nicola Lefler?
- Could anyone possibly have delighted us with a goofier Binky than Joseph Ayscue?
- Is it possible to cast “The Germaphobe vs. the Afghan-Knitter” any better than Annah Michaux and Debra Zumbach Grannan?
- Will we ever see an innocent angel with a bigger heart than Michael Bacigaluo’s Raynerd Chisum? If so, will he/she be as clueless?
The Department of Picky-Picky requires that we observe that some of the Texas accents are better than others. Also: recorded sound effects are delivered through speakers in the house (rather than backstage), thereby creating just a bit of a distracting dissonance.
Opening night’s show was graced with pre-show music/skit by members of Green Hope High School Chorus. We hope they will be brought back for the run of the show!
Tinsel, Texas is a “one-horse town” where (we are told that) “anything can happen but seldom does.” As Christmas approaches, a lot happens — don’t miss the Cary Players’ production of Dashing Through the Snow !
SECOND OPINION: Dec. 4th Cary, NC Cary News preview by Kathryn Trogdon: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/cary-news/article47869995.html; and Dec. 1st Cary, NC Cary Citizen preview: http://carycitizen.com/2015/12/01/theater-dashing-through-the-snow/.
The Cary Players present DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, 3 and 8 p.m. Dec. 5, 3 p.m. Dec. 6, and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary, North Carolina 27511.
TICKETS: $20 ($18 students and seniors), except $17 per person for groups of 20 or more.
BOX OFFICE: 800-514-3849 or https://www.etix.com/.
GROUP RATES (20+ tickets): Purchase in person at the Cary Downtown Theatre Box Office, 122 E. Chatham St. Cary, NC 27511, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday–Friday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
SHOW: http://caryplayers.org/shows/dashing-through-the-snow/ and https://www.facebook.com/events/444037182467675/.
PRESENTER: http://www.caryplayers.org/, https://www.facebook.com/CaryPlayers, and https://twitter.com/CaryPlayers.
VENUE: http://www.townofcary.org/ and http://www.caryplayers.org/cary-arts-center/.
NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio-describe the show’s 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6th, performance.
Dashing Through the Snow (2010 comedy): http://www.joneshopewooten.com/dashing.htm (official web page) and http://www.dramatists.com/cgi-bin/db/single.asp?key=4275 (Dramatists Play Service, Inc.).
The Script: http://books.google.com/ (Google Books).
Jones Hope Wooten (a.k.a. Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten, playwrights): http://www.joneshopewooten.com/ (official website) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jones_Hope_Wooten (Wikipedia).
Matt Schedler (director): https://www.facebook.com/matt.schedler.9 (Facebook page).
Pamela Vesper has been a Raleigh resident for more than 20 years. A local attorney for licensed professionals, when she’s not in court, Pam can be found watching or participating in local theater productions or enjoying the vibrant Raleigh music and craft beer scene. She also loves indie and foreign films and was an anchor on the local cable show, Movie Minutes. Pam has an opinion on just about everything; just ask her. Kurt Benrud is a graduate of Cary High School and N.C. State University, and he has taught English at both. He first became involved in local theater in 1980. He has served on the board of directors for both the Cary Players and the Cary Playwrights’ Forum. He is also a volunteer reader with Triangle Radio Reading Service. Click here to read their reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.