A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES (Walnut Street): 60-second review

Cast of Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas In Wales at Walnut Street Theatre. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Cast of Dylan Thomas’s A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES at Walnut Street Theatre. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Ah, Christmastime. Reds and greens and hardwood floors, drunk aunts and surly uncles, snowball fights and wishing for pet dogs. Written by Welshman Dylan Thomas in the 1950s, A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES is every nostalgic Christmas trope with song thrown in, and it’s totally delightful. The idyllic holiday portrayed bears little resemblance to modern Christmases, but even jaded urbanites who’ve never eaten a fruitcake in their lives can find something in it that reminds them of happy memories of wintertime childhoods. Maybe your living room wasn’t crowded with a wooden piano, a roaring fireplace and cheerfully harmonizing adults, but surely you could never get to sleep on Christmas Eve for anticipations of the gifts you’d find under the tree the next day.

Aaron Cromie, Maggie Lakis, Matthew Mastronardi, Amanda Jill Robinson and the Barrymore-winning Scott Greer (who looks just like Orson Wells, noted one elderly gentleman upon exiting the theater) round out an excellent ensemble who play no less than a dozen instruments throughout the singing of 17 songs, some classic and some based on Thomas’s poems. A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES is a singalong, too: If you don’t join in on the rousing finale, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” you’re a grinch.

[Walnut Street Theatre Studio 3, 825 Walnut Street] November 15-December 23, 2016; walnutstreettheatre.org.

 

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About the author

Julie Zeglen

Julie Zeglen is a freelance journalist and the editor of Generocity.org, a Philly-based social impact news site. She previously served as managing editor of Star Community Newsweekly, a hyperlocal newspaper focused on the River Wards. The Temple alumna lives in West Philly.