Words cannot express the euphoria that is watching Dylan Thomas’ A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES. In the world premiere production by the Lantern Theater Company, air-filled trash bags are magically transformed into giant hippopotamuses, eight feet of smoke billow out of cardboard homes, and a family, content after a Christmas meal, evolve from a few rocking chairs and a disembodied voice.
The cast, an extremely talented quartet of actors, breathes life onto a stage of puppets, dioramas, and glitter-filled bottles that shine like newly fallen snow. Geneviéve Perrier is an evocative and empathic narrator. Her bright, sparkling eyes and crystal clear voice lead us from snow ball fights with alley cats to bedtime prayers on Christmas night as Amy Smith, Doug Hara, and Charlie DelMarcelle coax the soul out of puppets and audience alike. The ensemble works seamlessly, revealing bits of magic where once there was none. The story flows from the fingertips of the cast so effortlessly, it is hard not to think of that icy sea, rolling ceaselessly onto the Welsh shoreline.
Not enough can be said to compliment the design team (Shon Casuer for Lighting and Robert Kaplowitz for Sound), the cast, and co-creators, Charles McMahon and Sebastienne Mundheim, for doing the impossible: for returning theatre to its roots of storytelling, imagination, and making tangible the impossible.
Frolic (preferably in the snow) to see Lantern Theater Company’s production of A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES. It is family-friendly (children of 8 years or older) and will be sure to leave a Christmas memory for years to come!
A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES runs until January 5, 2014. Tickets are $20-38 and are available online at lanterntehater.org or by calling the Lantern Box Office at 215-829-0395. $10 student rush tickets are available 10 minutes before curtain with valid ID. Discounts for seniors, groups, and military personnel available as well. Lantern Theater Company is located at St. Stephen’s Theater, 10th & Ludlow Streets.