Give your holiday spirit a boost by seeing Jon Jory’s adaptation THE GIFT OF THE MAGI, as directed by Cathy Zeller. This spectacularly staged production invites you to step into the Victorian world of Jim and Della Dillingham (delightfully, adorably played by Dylan Jeronis and Madison Hart), a young couple rich in love, but low on funds, and it’s Christmas! Both feel that they must give the other a special gift to express their love, and so each sacrifices their most precious earthly possession in order to surprise the other with a present; and oh, are they each surprised.
Carolers of all ages, dressed as townspeople, sing sweetly throughout the show. Songs and music (David Williams) are harmoniously interspersed in and between scenes to help bring the story along and the carolers are a dashing sight in their beautiful period costumes (Reba Baliles). At the beginning of the show, the audience is invited to sing along, and even the theater’s announcements are cleverly put to a Christmas tune! Especially nice was being greeted by the carols performed by the box office, and the smell of “things Christmas” as the audience poured into the theater. Michael Covel provided timely humor as the Male Watch Clerk, and Madame Vodskaya’s rant during her shop scene with Della, delivered by Kat Vallely was hilarious. The entire cast is well coordinated, sharp in each scene, adding to the overall quality of the play. Whether in the background milling about the shops with muffled chatter, as shop keepers keeping quietly busy, in a speaking role, or giving a simple glance, all support the story, as well as the main characters, the endearing couple Jim and Della, so well rendered by Dylan Jeronis and Madison Hart.
The set (Emma Strowger) alone will brighten your spirit! Resplendent with cobbled stage floor, well dressed shops that you could walk into, many colors, details and memories of Christmastime long ago. Lighting and sound (Mike Addice, Design, Shelby Winder, Operator), serve to enhance the ambiance of the set and the story in just the right amounts, at the right junctures. Such a delight to see!
The economic overtones in this play are not unfamiliar in this day and age. Jim’s company must either fire a worker, or each take a third reduction in pay, Della’s neighbor Clarice (nicely done by Abby Witwer) tells her that her husband has been laid off, second hand shops thrive and not all have decent shoes or good food to eat. Here’s hoping that the message of love in THE GIFT OF THE MAGI will also be a familiar one, now, and in the future…
Brighten your season and go see:
THE GIFT OF THE MAGI
Adapted by Jon Jory
Directed by Cathy Zeller
Musical Director, David Williams
December 5 – 14, 2014
795 Ridge Road
Telford, PA 18969