It’s a Wonderful Life meets Modern Family in this new Canadian comedy—a play that approaches the less “camera-ready” aspects of the holiday season with humour and a generous helping of whimsy.
This Arts Club Silver Commission project is acclaimed playwright Marcus Youssef’s second, after 2013’s How Has My Love Affected You? It was inspired by the music of Sufjan Stevens and is based on characters created for Youssef’s one-act play Chloe’s Choice.
It’s a Wonderful Christmas-ish Holiday Miracle follows Esther (Nicola Lipman), a recently departed spirit stopped at the gate to the afterlife by chipper border guard Salena (Ghazal Azarbad) and sent back to earth to deal with her unfinished business. This business comes in the form of Esther’s estranged daughter, Miriam (Jennifer Lines), Miriam’s ex-husband, Steven (Jovanni Sy), and their two children: rebellious teen Chloe (Matreya Scarrwener) and her precocious little brother Simon (Glen Gordon), who’s best friends with a stick bug named Ralphie.
Director Chelsea Haberlin said, “I love that It’s a Wonderful Christmas-ish Holiday Miracle doesn’t put a shiny veneer on the holiday season—though our set itself is very shiny. This time of year unearths so many feelings for families, some of which aren’t exactly warm and fuzzy, and I’m excited to bring the drama and humour that goes along with that to life on stage.”
Youssef added, “I was inspired by the holiday rituals I know best, which are the movies so many of us watch—particularly A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. It struck me that a great way to explore the ways families negotiate change during the holidays would be a kind of contemporary mash-up of some of those iconic, ritualized holiday stories.”
November 21–December 22, 2019 (Media opening: November 27)
Tue–Thur at 7:30 PM, Fri and Sat at 8 PM, Wed at 1:30 PM, and Sat & Sun at 2 PM
Tuesday Talkback: Tue, Dec 10, at 7:30 PM
Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre
Tickets from $29 at www.artsclub.com or the Arts Club Box Office at 604.687.1644
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