Special Report by Journalist Luscinda Dickey
I love Christmas! Wait—put that in all caps: I LOVE CHRISTMAS! And add periods: I. LOVE. CHRISTMAS. I mean who doesn’t? More than anything I want to be a part of Christmas. I have wanted to be a part of it for years. I know it sounds weird to say that I can’t, but it’s true. On Christmas day, I sit with nothing to do painting Christmas trees onto eggs… I mean cookies… and watching The North Pole Holly Jolliday Christmas Yule-A-Palooza! But I have never been able to really participate in Christmas. “That’s crazy!” you say, “why, everyone can be a part of Christmas!” That is true. BUT there is one teensy-weensy itsy-bitsy practically microscopic problem: I have a bunny ears. And I have bunny ears because I have a bunny’s head. And I have a bunny’s heads because I am a bunny. In fact I am The Easter Bunny.
Now, imagine it’s Christmas Day and you happen to see me waltzing down the street covered in tinsel and mistletoe with a basket full of brightly wrapped Christmas presents. What would you do? Well, you would either run the other way screaming: “Ahhhhh! A bunny covered with tinsel and mistletoe with a basket full of brightly wrapped Christmas presents!!” Or—and this is the most likely choice—you would begin laughing and pointing and shouting: “Hey, look at the crazy, weird bunny thing!” Then you would start throwing rotten eggs and moldy carrots at me. “No we wouldn’t” you say, but you would and you know it. No one would accept me.
So, that’s why I came up with my wonderful, amazing, terrific, spectacular idea! Here it is: I am going to masquerade as the Wistful Witch of Winter. So what is the Wistful Witch of Winter? I have no idea! I just made her up! All the duckies, chickies, and bunnies say that I must be going mad. But oops, I already am mad so who cares?
Thus far, my brilliant plan is working out perfectly! I am going to be part of Christmas and take part in this year’s broadcast of The North Pole Centennial Holly Jolliday Christmas Yule-A-Palooza! What could possibly go wrong!?! (I just hope no one takes off my hat!)
From first read through to closing night’s final bow, the Wistful Witch of Winter has, out of all the characters that I have played, been my favorite. And The North Pole Centennial Holly Jolliday Christmas Yule-A-Palooza, written and directed by Dan Beckmann and Erinn Dearth, was a show fresh and different from all others.
The North Pole Centennial Holly Jolliday Christmas Yule-A-Palooza only performed in a theatre one out of nine shows. The rest of the time we were dancing around the Triad spreading Christmas cheer to nursing homes and retirement communities. From singing a joy filled version of “Jingle Bells” with a sweet lady who when the song went into a slower three part harmony asked: “why did they slow down?” to shaking the hand of a grinning gentleman who although looked frail had a grip of steel, there was truly magic in the air. The true beauty of Christmas wasn’t in the classic songs we sang like “Oh Holy Night” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” or the favorite Christmas characters on stage like The Grinch (Brandon Lloyd Hicks) or Mrs. Claus (Mary Cain), but the true beauty was in the amazing people we met and talked to.
Spring Theatre’s The North Pole Centennial Holly Jolliday Christmas Yule-A-Palooza had its final performance Tuesday, December 17, 2019. From tour start to finish, the cast, crew, and audience shared the magic, joy, and love of the season. In the words of the Wistful Witch of Winter: “Christmas is the time of year where for one day families are joined together under one roof. Everyone is so very, very happy! Strangers are kind to one another! The true quality of the human spirit shines through. And [we got] to be a part of that.”