Matchbox opens 42nd season with Christmas mystery
Published 11:16 am Friday, November 4, 2016
The Matchbox Children’s Theatre in Austin will open its 42nd season with a Christmas-themed mystery show tonight, Saturday and Sunday at the Historic Paramount Theatre.
“Just in the Nick of Time” will be presented at 7 p.m. this evening and at 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.
Detective Red Mistletoe, played by Randy Forster, is on the case when Santa goes missing. Mrs. Santa, played by Krista Johnson, and elves realize they have not seen St. Nick for several weeks and all are so upset the color fades from the North Pole. The detective teams with Holly Wreath, played by Angela Donovan, to rescue Santa from Bob Humbug, played by Matt King, who has a plan to ruin Christmas. How they save Christmas “just in the nick of time” is the fun in this merry adventure.
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Janet Anderson, who co-directs the production with Cate Goodnature, said “we’re excited with the mix of kids and adults featured in the play” and the challenges the sets presented. The sets required that the colorful North Pole turn to a dismal gray, black and white when Santa cannot be found.
Anderson said John Wik worked closely with lighting designer Scott Anderson to create the needed illusion.
Anderson, in turn, worked with Eric Schindler at Norcostco, a stage supply company.
She added the play provided family entertainment — in more ways than one. There are three instances of a parent and their child both performing in the play.
Overall, the play “is a wonderful way to get into the spirit of the season. Our talented cast ranges in age from 8 to adult. They do any outstanding job of telling this very special Christmas story,” she said.
The show is the first of the theater’s three-show 2016-17 season. “Cinderella” will be staged in January and “Charlotte’s Web” will be presented in April.
This show also marks Anderson’s 25th show as director.
Tickets are $6 for ages 14 and younger and $10 for adults. Children ages 2 and younger are admitted free of charge. All seating is general admission.
Tickets may be purchased at the door starting one hour before the performance or in advance online at www.austinareaarts.org, or at Austin ArtWorks Center during business hours, at 300 N. Main St.