The Charlotte Players kicks off the holiday season in November with a trio of shows guaranteed to put smiles on audiences’ faces.
First up is playwright Phil Olson’s “comedy with a heart,” A Nice Family Christmas, which opens on Nov. 5 for a seven-show run at the Langdon Playhouse.
“Sometimes, theater performances can be thought-provoking, sometimes compelling, sometimes tragic, sometimes funny, and it is my view that they should always be entertaining,” said director and Charlotte Players president Jenni Elliott. “A Nice Family Christmas is definitely funny, sometimes thought-provoking and certainly entertaining.”
Elliott believes audiences will enjoy following the Minnesota family as they gather on Christmas Eve. Mom and Grandma greet Carl, a journalist and the middle son; Michael, the eldest and a doctor; and Steven, the youngest, who is gay and has quite some difficulty explaining his situation to Grandma.
Uncle Bob arrives unexpectedly, slightly tipsy and sporting a bottle of whiskey. Then comes the lovely Jill, who is separated from Michael and is hoping to reunite with him.
“Mix all this together with the discovery of a secret that Mom is hiding, and you definitely have A Nice Family Christmas,” said the director. “So, I hope everyone will feel that they are eavesdropping on this family’s Christmas Eve and most of all, I hope they all enjoy the show.”
A Nice Family Christmas premiered at the Group Rep Theatre in Los Angeles in November 2016. The play won first place at the McLaren Comedy Festival in Midland, Texas, finished second out of 125 competitors for the Robert J. Pickering Award for Playwriting Excellence, and was a semi-finalist in the New Play Contest at the Neil Simon Festival in Cedar City, Utah
For A Nice Family Christmas, there are five 7:30 p.m. shows and a pair of 2 p.m. Sunday matinees. Tickets are $22 for adults and $11 for students and may be ordered at www.charlotteplayers.org or by calling 941-255-1022. The Langdon Playhouse is located at 1182 Market Circle, Port Charlotte.
Next up at the Langdon in November is a return engagement by the popular Peace River Trio for one night only at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 16. Tickets are $22 for adults and $11 for students and may be ordered at the places noted above.
Trio members John Welsh, Marsha Carpenter, and Dave Heveron present a musical tribute to the great folk music artists of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, including Peter, Paul and Mary, John Denver, Simon and Garfunkel, The New Christy Minstrels, Johnny Cash, The Kingston Trio, Joan Baez, The Seekers, and many more.
Their incredible three-part harmony, along with their mastery of multiple instruments (six- and 12-string guitars, mandolin, banjo, conga drum, kazoo, tambourine, harmonica, and more), will delight you, as will their funny banter among themselves and the audience.
Later in the month at the Langdon, the Players is presenting the perfect continuation of a family Thanksgiving holiday. Squawk! The Show features a group of parrots displaying some amazing talents, such as painting, mind reading, performing card tricks, solving math problems and much more. The birds are full of personality and deliver a fast-paced, laugh-out-loud show that appeals to people of all ages.
The feathered company takes the stage on Saturday, Nov. 27, for shows at 1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Children three and younger will be admitted free. Order tickets at www.charlotteplayers.org or by calling 941-255-1022.
The birds appeared on the America’s Got Talent TV show in 2011. The performance of a bird named Danny awed cohost Piers Morgan: “That was amazing,” he declared. “It was the most intelligent animal I’ve ever seen in my whole life. He’s incredible
To see the birds in action, visit www.vegasbirds.com.