The holiday spirit will come to Flandreau a little early this year with the production of “A Christmas Carol.” The musical will be performed at the Crystal Theatre on Nov. 9-12.
According to director Dan Sutton, the version play-goers will see is the “Disneyized” version by Alan Menken who also wrote “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
“When you listen to the music and the words it gives you a perspective on what’s important in today’s world,” Sutton said.
Another quality of this musical is that the music is nonstop.
“There’s really no break,” Sutton said. “We’re putting one in because we need a break.”
In other musicals, the orchestra can look forward to a break while the actors speak.
“There’s never not music. Open to close, they’re playing” said Sutton with a laugh, confiding that he didn’t mention that aspect of the musical when he was recruiting musicians for the pit orchestra.
“We have a pit orchestra,” Sutton said. “That’s unheard of in our size of community. It makes Flandreau’s musical’s a unique experience.”
According to Sutton, the orchestra represents just part of the talent on display in “A Christmas Carol.”
“It’s quite inspirational to see all this talent come together,” Sutton said.
The players come from Flandreau, Colman, Madison, Lake Benton and Pipestone.
“We have five communities that help make the show a success,” Sutton said.
Besides the chance to perform on stage, the performers forge lasting friendships.
“They would never have crossed paths in any other venue,” Sutton said. “That’s really rewarding to watch that.”
Putting on a musical isn’t easy or, for that matter, cheap.
“A musical of this magnitude costs thousands of dollars to put on,” Sutton said. “Everybody has been so giving to make it happen.”
Chief among those are the theater’s season ticket holders who support every play. Friends of “A Christmas Carol” offer support for that particular play. According to Sutton, “friends” are often season ticket holders who give because “they so much believe in what we’re doing up there.”
Businesses are also generous with in-kind contributions.
“Because of them we’re able to have this musical journey and opportunity,” Sutton said.
Reserved tickets are recommended. Call 605-864-0517 during normal business hours on Nov. 3, and Nov. 6 through Nov. 11.
This production has also received generous help from theater companies in Lake Benton and Pipestone who have loaned costumes, props and set pieces.
“That saves some money,” Sutton said, “and, more importantly, time.”
Sutton has found that time is in short supply for the orchestra and players in “A Christmas Carol” as the full company won’t be all together until the curtain rises for the first time.
“Everybody won’t be there until opening night,” Sutton said. “You understand they have lives and you just work with it.”