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Keeping Christmas festive

Play's heroes fight to save holiday in merry olde England

Play's heroes fight to save holiday in merry olde England

November 30, 2006|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.VA. - Nicholas Grimnasty is trying to abolish Christmas in "The Christmas Cavalier," which opens Friday at the Ice House.

Written by Richard Lloyd, "The Christmas Cavalier" is a melodrama about a villain, who is a "conniving, scheming man," said Beth Brooks, who designed the set and wrote the songs.

She is also playing Dame Dumplings, the heroine's aunt, and will be speaking with a Cockney accent, she said.

The play is based on English history in the 1600s, when the Puritan Oliver Cromwell deposed and beheaded the king and determined all revelry and frivolous fun as ungodly, said Abbie Brown, the play's director.

According to the press release from the Morgan Arts Council, the producer, "to Cromwell, that meant the end of the great festival of Christmas. He sent his henchmen out into the countryside to stamp out the holiday celebrations. One village revolted. Based on local references scattered throughout the play, audiences are led to believe this village is Bath."

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The Town of Bath is the municipality in Berkeley Springs, and is named after Bath, England.

"We selected the play because it would be new to our audience," Brown said in the press release. "In fact, probably no one has ever heard of it. But it is really funny and filled with weird characters, which makes our troupe of local actors happy," she said.

Samantha Veara, 10, plays one of the village children. "It's a funny play for the whole family," she said.

The cast of 19 is made up of children, teenagers and a few adults, said Brown.

"There is witchery and spells are cast, and it's fun for all ages," said Brooks.

Audience participation will be required, said Brown. "Come boo the bad guys and cheer the good," she said.

The play dates are: Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m., and Sunday matinee performances on Dec. 3 and 10 at 3 p.m.

For reservations, call 304-258-2300. The Ice House is on the corner of Independence and Mercer streets in Berkeley Springs.




If you go



What:"The Christmas Cavalier"

When: Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m., Sunday matinee performances on Dec. 3 and 10 at 3 p.m.

Where:The Ice House, Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

For reservations, call 304-258-2300

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