Irish Repertory Theatre presents the classic retelling of a Christmas from the view of a young child, portraying a nostalgic and simpler time. More…
Told through the eyes of a child, the story is a nostalgic review of life for a little boy in Wales during the 1920’s. The stories are not so much about the festivities of Christmas as about the peculiar habits of people as revealed in this season of feasting and merriment. The story takes a look at how unusual the world appears through the eyes of a little boy who is still discovering life.
"A lively production which awakens the youthful spirit of joy in each of us...The production touched my heart and brought me back to my own Christmases with generations of family...The Irish Rep production is refreshing...For that reason this holiday classic is a superb seasonal show that kids old and young will appreciate." Full Review
"In addition to celebratory sequences, several spooky incidents are depicted with the cast gleefully performing as if they were children. Michael Gottlieb’s cheery lighting design appropriately turns moody and sinister...The appealing cast’s charming presence combined with the beautifully dressed stage makes this 'A Child’s Christmas in Wales' look and feel like an idealized family gathering. Seeing this production is a delightfully comforting way to spend time during the holiday season." Full Review
"You don't even really have to pay close attention to Thomas' prose to absorb the warmth of his nostalgic tales of Christmases past. Just let it warm you inside like a cup of hot cocoa and take in the spirit of the holidays that exist only in our fantasies and fabricated memories...This fantasy world is the capital of all holiday fare, and 'A Child's Christmas in Wales' lets us spend a luscious 70 minutes inside." Full Review
"Its devotion to faith and family makes it a gingerbread-scented charmer and, in its own special way, the perfect little Christmas show...Sprawling swaths of Thomas remain, largely unscathed, to anchor the reminiscences, and that's where most of the show's heft is found. But when they fuse most seamlessly, particularly during a late caroling session that doesn't quite go as planned, the effect is amusing, affirming, and original beyond merely the words on the page." Full Review
"Without Dickens’s eye and ear for extreme emotional and fiscal predicaments, the story’s more fantastic moments wouldn’t have the weight of truth...Thomas’s script affords actors the opportunity to emote through speech rather than behavior; the words are their gestures...The reality that Thomas and Wilder offer us is filtered through memory and the self-absorption that comes with being—and the music that comes with it, too." Full Review
"What makes the production so appealing is its quiet and elegant simplicity. We are drawn almost unconsciously into the tale...It’s a testament to Thomas’s writing that many of the scenarios presented can be seen as comical in one light and a bit tragic in another. One of the most striking things about 'A Child’s Christmas in Wales' is that no matter how many times we may see it, we can always find something different in its telling." Full Review
"The mood is nostalgic without ever getting gooey...This production couldn’t be more agreeably comfortable with just enough 'literature' for the adults and jolly carols for the kids. All the performers sang and acted perfectly and were convincing as a troupe that not only liked entertaining, but liked each other as well." Full Review
"The prose, with its stories of odd relatives visiting for the holiday, descriptive language of snow falling and childhood fun and remembrances, is interlaced with Christmas songs both moving and filled with good cheer...A highlight in the 20-plus song repertoire is Cullum's solo...The 75-minute, no-intermission presentation has such a warm, nostalgic feel, that you'll wish Christmas didn't come just once a year." Full Review
for a previous production "It’s extremely unlikely that there’s a friendlier, warmer or more rewarding hour to be found on any New York stage...The rich, evocative beauty of 'A Child’s Christmas in Wales' thrives comfortably alongside the jokes and the bumptious family memories of holiday excess. The Rep actors do a particularly good job of rooting out the truth and the genuine depth of feeling lying at the throbbing heart of this tenderly gorgeous little masterpiece of familial foibles." Full Review
for a previous production "In the Rep’s show traditional and modern Christmas standards compete to cast a seasonal spell over even the most resisting natures from songs that are high on melody and five part harmony, and low on sentiment. Take yourself along to blow away the winter blahs, and be assured it will be worth every penny...The talented ensemble are all note perfect from start to finish, and the 70 minutes of sheer entertainment is pure joy." Full Review
for a previous production "The show will be too abstract for very young children, but at only 90 minutes (with one intermission), 'A Child’s Christmas in Wales' is an ideal holiday show for older kids, who will be drawn especially to David Millman, the young actor who plays Dylan as a boy...Kids of every age will immediately see themselves in him...'A Child’s Christmas in Wales' is that perfect snowflake falling down to the tip of your tongue. Catch it before it’s gone." Full Review
for a previous production "This production really put me in the holiday spirit. With creative staging inspired by Charlotte Moore’s adaptation for the Irish Repertory Theatre, and featuring a diverse and talented cast, we get a peek into what a typical Christmas may have been like for young Dylan in 1928. The story is charming, the cast highlights Thomas’s prose by performing many well-known and beloved Christmas carols throughout the 90 minute show." Full Review
for a previous production "My question was how could the Irish Rep inject enough dramatic tension into this sweet story to make of it a play? Amazingly well...It brings home the whole point of the Christmas tradition. " Full Review
for a previous production "Thomas is precise, efficient, and daring...This is writing that needs no explanation, adjustment or augmentation. Yet this is precisely what Charlotte Moore has chosen, with the best of intentions, to do. She has added not only Christmas carols and songs but swaths of text as well...The very clear result is that you will either like it or you won’t. Much of the audience did on the night I attended with several audible sighs after sentimental songs and plenty of laughs where they were intended." Full Review
for a previous production "It retains Thomas’s text but adds enough traditional and contemporary Christmas music to make the 1952 classic feel fresh again. And with renowned actor Howard McGillin leading the five-member cast, the show becomes as good as a striped and colored peppermint stick. The ensemble’s enjoyment of what they are doing is not only engaging, but their genuine enthusiasm becomes infectious." Full Review
for a previous production "I know it’s blasphemy, but I’m not really one for 'Silent Night,' probably from overkill at this time of year. Here, I liked it...In another sense, if the show feels like a homecoming, it may be because you’ve seen several of the actors involved in the production in your theatregoing over the years...For people ready to unplug the Christmas machinery, here’s a simple, yet festive, way to get into the holiday spirit." Full Review
for a previous production "Director/adapter Charlotte Moore’s concert version is actually a little too overdressed, at least with music...at times the musical treacle becomes too thick, with the performers belting out traditional carols like 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' with forced jollity. All told, though, it’s a charming 70-minute holiday diversion. By the end, when you’re invited to sing along to Christmas tunes, you’ll find it hard to resist." Full Review
for a previous production "They sing as if they're welcoming you into their living room, and you can't help but smile...More than any one moment, though, 'A Child's Christmas' is a wash of emotion, transporting us to the white dusted mountains of the famously tragic poet's youth when he was just a boy who built snow castles." Full Review
for a previous production "'A Child's Christmas in Wales' is high on sentiment and low on surprise...His winding and sing-song sentences conjure not only an idyllic Christmas past but also an awareness of the hazy gloss required to keep memories fond. The cast members' cheerfulness and the constant interruption of the carols, however, keep any sadder implications from blighting the show's merry sheen." Full Review
See it if You love Dylan Thomas, John Cullum (what's not to like?) and the Irish Rep. Solid, joyful production.
Don't see it if If you don't like the poem or Dylan Thomas and are played out on Christmas in general. You'd be missing something worthwhile!
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