A Demented Christmas

Senior editor Maria Hess chats about Delaware’s arts scene.

Welcome to Delaware Today’s arts blog, the spot to dish on the many cultural opportunities available to Delaware audiences. We’ll cover as many genres as possible, and note great events offered by organizations large and small, in all three counties.

Last week was all about tradition. This week, not so much.

A Dysfunctional Christmas Carol

Feel like taking the classic “A Christmas Carol” out for a spin? Head to the Milton Theatre to see “The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol.”  Yep. That’s the full title. Feel free to abbreviate when buying tickets. “It” runs December 18-20.

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The show is a total annihilation of “A Christmas Carol,” but in a fun way. A cluster of lovable but senile women decide to produce what ends up being a disturbingly unbalanced production. Scrooge, the Cratchits, the three ghosts, Tiny Tim: They’re all there, but they’re not quite right. Everything that can possibly go wrong with this show does.

Sit in the first few rows, and these nutty theater types will write you into the show. Consider that a warning.

Contact info: 684-3400 or visit miltontheatre.org.

Page 2: A Visit to the Barber


A Visit to the Barber

Leave it to the folks at City Theater Company to offer “Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” a few weeks before Christmas. This is why we love these guys.

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The plot: A barber and his sinister tenant slice the throats of unsuspecting customers while giving them a shave. They turn the bodies into meat pies. This is a musical: a Stephen Sondheim musical.

CTC director Michael Gray shares his interpretation of the show, which runs thru December 19.

“Our interpretation, and I use that word loosely because we follow the script and score as written, was to approach the piece via what one might call a ‘punk aesthetic,’” he says. “The punk movement had its roots in poor, urban, lower class neighborhoods struggling with the economic downturn, loss of jobs and high inflation of the late ’70s.”

There is blood—it’s fake, but still. “Yes, we do use lots of blood,” says Gray. “It is literally painted on the actor as he or she is killed. We think it provides a very graphic and ritualistic feel to the murders.”

Gray calls the music “gorgeous and unsettling, difficult and inspired.” It is. The troupe employs a nine-piece orchestra, which does it justice. “Overall,” says Gray, “we think this is a “Sweeney Todd” no one has seen before, and therefore, we hope it’s like seeing it for the first time.

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Contact info: city-theater.org


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