By Anne Ritchie
The Blackhorse Village Players opens a world of magic for the whole family this season with Norm Foster’s Dear Santa. In response to the play, notes have been referred to the North Pole.
“Please send me the same message of joy, fun, and merriment that you vested upon the highly entertained audience at The Blackhorse Village Players. Everyone enjoys this play!
“Please include instructions in how to be as lovable as the befuddled Algernon Gladstone (Craig Butler). He had us rolling with laughter as he frantically orders about all the elves, visitors and a mysterious stowaway from the North Pole express.
“We couldn’t help but enjoy it when he trips on housekeeper Octavia’s (Kim Christensen) heartstrings, and teased on by a team of enthusiastic elves, he unwittingly heads for romance.“Christensen slips up laughably and lets slip Sleigh secrets, twisting truth into a pretzel of flustered explanations. Add bewilderment, a dash of agitation, comic confusion and the talents of a first class actor and that’s all we want for Christmas.
“And please, please, Santa, leave us a double dose of the laughter brought on by the Pole’s strangest resident, Bozidar, played as only veteran actor Larry Hines can do it. His accent blooms fruitfully, he moves expressively, misguided phrases somersault off his tongue, and when, he concocts a mixture of crazy glue and is sticks close to Algernon, the outcome is the highlight of the show.
“Leave me, Santa, with the smooth perseverance of Lou Flapdoodle (Sean Derraugh), as he tried to sell you a sleigh. To sell a second sleigh calls for imagination, jet propelled by Derraugh’s creative and talented character.
“By the way, thanks for lending your suit, your jolly smile, and your sparkling benevolence to Paul Federico, who, with his good will and Christmas cheer brought out the Christmas spirit remarkably.
“Whether I’ve been naughty or nice, Santa, could you focus on the very nice, as shown by stowaway Kit Bishop (Madison Byblow) To her belong the talents and energy of a budding actor fresh from local school productions. She easily holds the attention of the audience, whether it’s by tugging on Santa’s heartstrings, conducting a chorus of elves, or bedeviling Algernon.
“Speaking of elves, they deserve a round of applause for their bouncing energy and enjoyment of the production, so easily shared with the audience. No wonder there is such an enthusiasm for this production, directed by a jolly director, Chandra Mulder, who would rival even you with her spirited talents, matched by an incredible enthusiasm for the stage. Mulder thrives on success, easily capturing the Christmas spirit for all to enjoy. She, with producer Vicki Drier, has brought Dear Santa into being, and along with a cast and crew offers a production not to be missed.
“Rather than cookies, I’m leaving you with a round of applause for the entertainment The Blackhorse Village Players provided, and continues to do so until Dec. 12. I’m telling my friends to call (905) 880-5002 for tickets and information, because it should not be missed.
“Merry Christmas, and may all of days be as bright as the talents of The Blackhorse Village Players.