REVIEW – Due in part to its success last year, Tuacahn Center for the Arts has brought back for its sophomore year “Fairy Tale Christmas.” The musical is a brisk, witty fusion of the traditional Santa Claus story and beloved fairy tale characters wrapped in the pop stylings of songwriters Michael McLean, who created “The Forgotten Carols,” and his son M. Scott McLean, who also wrote the book on which the musical is based.
Related story: Michael McLean reflects on 20 years of The Forgotten Carols
Any substantive changes aren’t noticeable, so the productions’ highlights – creative and diverse songs which mash-up several genres, ingenious quick-changing costumes and superlative video projections – all add up to a fun, refreshing take on traditional, secular Christmas themes.
The narrative is still a little murky, but it goes something like this: A group of fairy tale villains hatch a plot to kidnap Santa and reverse the typical endings to their “happy-ever-after” stories. Since the characters are all familiar, even smaller children should enjoy the tongue-in-cheek proceedings. The production closes with perhaps the show’s best and most memorable song “The Hero of Your Story.”
Seven performers must perform the parts of over 20 characters, and this year’s cast is clearly up to the task. Returning from last year’s inaugural production are Jordan Aragon, Matt Ban, and Hannah Record. Added for this year are Blair Alexis Brown, Rebecca Brudner and Garyon Judon, seasoned veterans who insure this year’s production doesn’t miss a step.
Tuacahn’s “Fairy Tale Christmas” won’t make you forget Scrooge and Tiny Tim any time soon, but an original Christmas-themed story with some cheery songs is always a welcome gift for any musical theater fan. But you better hurry, tickets are selling fast.