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TheGiving Star

Sun, Jan 7th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, December 18, 2000

If the thought of sitting through another traditional Christmas play gets you feeling a little Scrooge-like, the Commonweal Theatre’s holiday production might be just what you need. "The Giving Star" puts a refreshing twist on the true spirit of the season. Written by the company itself, the play is a rousing blend of new and traditional holiday characters and stories.

Imagine a misfit angel in cahoots with a desperate reindeer, both struggling to find their way. Throw in a drunken department store Santa, a tragic love story, and a disillusioned fir tree. Now sit back as they lead you on a humorous and emotional journey. When each character learns to freely give, they are blessed with an understanding of the true meaning of life.

The cast, Tonya Beckman, Matt Tallman, Doug Megson, Christopher Oden and Lisa Weaver excel in their diverse roles. They do a marvelous job at breathing new life into vaguely familiar characters. A forest of timeless winter woods serves as a repeated meeting place for this unusual crew. The set, props and costumes are simple and fun. Once again, Commonweal presents southeast Minnesota with top-notch theater.

What is perhaps most astonishing about the production is director Hal Cropp’s ability to bridge multiple sub-plots into one concise story. In just over an hour, five different story lines unfold and come together in an inspiring end. In addition, Cropp manages to find room for several acoustic carols and a last minute visit from the three wisemen to wrap things up. "The Giving Star" is truly unique, if not somewhat bizarre. Expect plenty of laughs and perhaps even a few tears, but overall, be prepared for a lesson on how miracles are really made.

"The Giving Star runs through December 23. For ticket information and curtain times, contact the Commonweal box office at 1-800-657-7025.

Jill O'Neill

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