Christmas themed shows are doing predictably well in our area, but there is one acclaimed production you can’t see, unless you scored a ticket last month or act quickly to grab seats for the performance just added. (see below)
“I was floored. Completely.“ I was talking with Evan Hoffman, Producing Artistic Director for NextStop Theatre Company, now in its second season. And the show is A Charlie Brown Christmas. “We sold out the run by mid-November, three weeks before the first show. We added two more performances, and those sold in less than a week. We normally send out post cards, but this show sold out (nearly 1600 tickets) before the cards were printed.” They mailed them out anyway as a reminder.
Rights to the stage version of the TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas were released this year featuring the familiar score by Vince Guiraldi. “The Charles Schultz estate thought it would be fun to have a stage version of the show so they asked Eric Schaeffer to do the adaptation. We have a three piece jazz combo, so the show sounds like the animated TV special.”
“I thought about doing a full professional production, but then I got it in my head – all these characters are little kids.” Hoffman grew up in the Herndon area. “I was 10 back in 1991 when I got the chance to perform in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Elden Street Players (the community theatre from which NextStop emerged two years ago). It changed my life.”
They held auditions and “so many kids came out for the show, the response was so huge, we realized we could cast it two times over, so why not? We have 13 actors between the ages of 8 and 13 divided into the Peace cast and the Joy cast. The kids are just brilliant, they are so honest. They make better Charlie Brown Sallys and Lucy’s than adult actors could because they get it.”
Woodstock even makes a cameo appearance, played by his 18 month old son, Miles Hoffman.
1 performance just added:
The Joy cast performing
A Charlie Brown Christmas at NextStop
Saturday, December 20 at 10am
Click for tickets
Next up for NextStop is Gutenberg! the Musical!, opening January 8th. “These two men, Bud and Doug, have written a big Broadway musical, but have no money, no cast, no supporters. It’s one of the funniest musicals I’ve ever seen.” As of this writing, five performances are already sold out.
Looking back on NextStop’s first season, Hoffman said “The first season was a whirlwind. All the work that people put in to see us reach the next level, and the support of the community and people being drawn to us, I could not be prouder.”