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Woodbury Community Theatre holiday show opens Dec. 4 on the Loft Stage

"Amahl and the Night Visitors" tells the story of a boy, three kings and a miracle. Staff photo by Amber Kispert.

With Thanksgiving just a day away, some people have already started thinking about Christmas, such as the Woodbury Community Theatre.

Woodbury Community Theatre's holiday show, "Amahl and the Night Visitors" will debut Dec. 4 on the Loft Stage at East Ridge High School.

"Amahl and the Night Visitors" tells the story of Amahl, "an imaginative boy, three kings and a miracle," director Marcie Berglund said.

Berglund and Woodbury Community Theatre executive producer Michelle Witte said they chose "Amahl and the Night Visitors" for this year's holiday show because it is a very classic Christmas story and oftentimes is a tradition for families to watch.

"It's a very classic holiday show," Witte said. "Plus, it gives insight into what it would have been like if the three wise men really were walking around and who they really were."

"It's the real Christmas story," Berglund said.

An introduction to opera

"Amahl and the Night Visitors" is a different type of show for Woodbury Community Theatre in that it is an opera, which means there is no dialogue in the show except for the music.

"My hope is that the audience doesn't realize they've seen an opera," Berglund said. "It's a good introduction to opera."

Berglund said there might be some people who are hesitant about the show because opera is typically inaccessible, but "Amahl and the Night Visitors" is a great way to expose people to opera and the different variations of opera.

"People think of opera as tragic, but this show has a lot of humor," Witte said. "It's not like an Italian opera, so I think people will be surprised at what it is."

Witte said the humor and the story add a lot to the show.

"The three kings, are gorgeous and interesting but there's a lot of humor also," she said. "The whole show is very touching, it transcends Christmas."

Don't expect "Amahl and the Night Visitors" to have traditional Christmas songs that you are used to, Witte said.

"No one will be familiar with the songs because the music is the show," she said.

Berglund said producing an opera, rather than a musical or a more revue type holiday show has some unique challenges, such as balancing the music.

"We have to make sure there's something interesting happening during the instrumental portions, but not take away from the beauty of the music -- it's a fine line," she said. "We might get a lot of critiques from opera enthusiasts."

Berglund said she is very excited about the show and is optimistic that the audiences will enjoy the show.

"It's something you can bring your family to, to get the season started," she said. "It helps everyone get into the holiday spirit."

Woodbury Community Theatres production of "Amahl and the Night Visitors" runs Dec. 4 and Dec. 10-11 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and children age five and under and active military members and their families are free.

Woodbury Community Theatre has teamed up with Tubman, a non-profit organization, to collect shampoo, soap and deodorant to be donated to community shelters. Audience members are asked to bring these products to the performances.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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