A Victorian-style Father Christmas has been kidnapped by ne’er-do-wells and Mother Christmas has hauled out a crew of fictional misfit Christmas characters to help her solve the mystery and save the day. This is the set-up for Athens of the South’s second mystery dinner play, “The Miscreants’ Christmas,” December 10, 11, 17 and 18 at the BridgePointe Hotel and Marina in New Bern. Performances begin at 7 p.m.
The play, written by company director Bill Hand, is peopled with famous (and not-so-famous) characters from popular Christmas tales. From Charles Dickens’ The Christmas Carol comes Ebenezer Scrooge (played by John Baldwin), who still battles with his crotchety ways; his goodness-mentor, a grown-up Tiny Tim (Daryl Harris), whose innocence has gone just a little awry, and an emo-like, tricky Want (Cassi Young), half of the “Ignorance and Want” children housed under the Ghost of Christmas Present’s robe. From O. Henry’s Gift of the Magi comes Della (Nancy Hitchcock) and James (Bill Hand), a naïve and good-natured but penniless husband and wife. Rounding out the cast is the mischievous Jack Frost.
Mother Christmas (Sue Baldwin) calls the characters together for a council to read the ransom letter and try to figure out who took Father Christmas and why. Audience interaction is a major part of the show, with diners being selected to do small parts on stage, and with characters talking with them and answering questions between scenes. Before the last act, everyone gets to take a guess as to who took Father Christmas and why. The closest guess wins a prize.
Dinner is provided by Annabelle’s and the dinner is BYOB.
Tickets are $40 general admission (for dinner and show); $35 for children under 18, military, and groups of ten or more. They can be purchased through the Bank of the Arts, Middle Street, New Bern, through the Athens of the South website (AthensMysteryDinners.yolasite.com), or by calling 252-229-4977.