Closing Sierra Repertory Theatre’s 2017 Season is a contemporary musical about cynicism, belief, and the real meaning of Christmas. ‘Another Night Before Christmas’ plays Dec. 1 through 23, at the East Sonora Theatre.
Called “roaringly funny,” “thoughtful,” and “perfect for (a) night out before Christmas,” this show has a book and lyrics by Sean Grennan and music by Leah Okimoto.
Grennan began writing for theatre as co-librettist (with his wife, Kathy Santen) for the musical Phantom of the Country Palace. Working as librettist and lyricist with composer Leah Okimoto, their work includes the musicals Married Alive!, A Dog’s Life, and Another Night Before Christmas, all of which premiered at the American Heartland Theatre led by director Paul Hough.
In Another Night Before Christmas, Karol, a disillusioned social worker, is trudging home one cold December night when she encounters an old man sitting on a park bench. Mistaking him for homeless, Karol offers the stranger some food – a seemingly innocent gesture, until he turns up in her apartment claiming to be Santa Claus. Thanks to a malfunctioning security system, Karol finds herself trapped with “Mr. Claus” and forced to confront her feelings about Christmas once and for all.
“During times when society seems out of control there is comfort in believing that, perhaps, Santa Claus really does exist,” said SRT Managing Director, Becky Saunders. “It’s thrilling to find such a gem that is a lesser known work. Often, we go to the standards of Christmas entertainment (A Christmas Carol) but it is astounding to find a contemporary piece that connects us to the joys of giving and compassion. That resonates in today’s world.”
Jacob Harvey will direct this production. Harvey is the Artistic Director of the Greenhouse Theater Center, in Chicago. A freelance director, teaching artist and producer, Harvey was awarded the Bret C. Harte Director/Producer Fellowship for Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s 2013-14 season; served as Associate Producer and Interim Director of Programming for the Drama Desk Award Winning New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF); and served as the Co-Artistic Director of the Ovation Award-Nominated Mechanicals Theatre Group in Los Angeles.
Mark Seiver (White Christmas, Sister Act) will provide music direction.
Another Night Before Christmas plays at the East Sonora Theatre, Friday, Dec. 1 through Saturday, Dec. 23. Shows are on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 2 p.m.; Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Admission ranges from $20 for children 17 and under to $37 for general admission, with adult and senior prices varying depending on day and time of performance. For more information about buying tickets or becoming a season subscriber, call SRT’s Box Office at (209) 532-3120, or visit www.sierrarep.org.