Catch holiday spirit at ‘Playhouse Family Christmas’

The cast gathers around the big man himself: Santa Claus. - Photos: Alvaro Serey

The return of writer and director Sue Howe’s “A Playhouse Family Christmas” is like stepping into a holiday dream. Singing reindeer invite you to take a sleigh ride. Pajama-clad Three Wise Men whisk you into a sugar-plum fantasy.

Even old Ebenezer Scrooge lets the Christmas cheer warm his cold heart, as he embraces his new role as Mr. Benny, owner of the magical Benny’s Toy Store.

The production creates a world as enchanting and full of promise as Christmas Day.

Beloved hosts Frizz, Sue Howe, and Grizz, Gabrielle Wheaton, banter with the cartoonish charm that has made the play a “must-see” event for four years and counting.

This time around, Frizz the mouse invites her feline friend Grizz to step into a special toy store, where a jolly cast of characters comes to life, animating a wonderland of song and dance.

As a wide-eyed Grizz describes it, the scene created on the Prospect Playhouse stage is “as beautiful as a star-filled night.” The production invites viewers, young and old, to immerse their imaginations in this enthralling world.

“It’s been really surprising over the years. A lot of people have come that don’t even have kids. They’re not necessarily even big theater-goers some of them. They come and they always have the nicest comments about how the show really did put them in the Christmas spirit. That’s really all we hope to achieve in the hour we are entertaining them,” Ms. Howe says.

Isabella Rooney sings like an angel while accompanied by Adam Stoner, one of the Wise Men, on guitar.

The months of work and rehearsals put in by this crew shine through during the group song and dance numbers. The cast shares an infectious camaraderie and creates an irresistible urge to succumb to the season and sing along to a carol or two.

“Everybody here is family, no matter where they’re from. That’s a special thing, especially this time of year,” Mr. Candy Cane tells a homesick Buzz Lightyear.

Children who stay after the show will even have the chance to meet with Santa Claus, who has a special message for them.

“Children of Cayman, I’m here at the theater but don’t worry. I’ll be with you on Christmas Eve, as long as you’re good. Don’t forget to be good. Because I’m keeping a list and I’m checking it twice,” Mr. Claus says.

Anything is possible in Frizz and Grizz’s Christmas land, full of new friends, toys and treats. The North Pole does not get much closer to the Caribbean than this.

Visit www.cds.ky or check out our video summary on www.caymancompass.com.

Sue Howe as Frizz the mouse and Gabrielle Wheaton as Grizz the cat.