Theatre 29 Musical Opening To Benefit Relay For Life

The opening performance of “A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol,” at Theatre 29 on Friday, November 16, will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Morongo Basin Relay for Life, set for April 13-14, 2013.

The November 16 Opening Night Gala will feature a sit-down dinner at 6 p.m., catered by Kerry Jimenez, featuring good ol’ Midwestern cuisine. Before the show and during intermission, play-goers will be able to bid on items in a silent auction. Relay for Life is still soliciting donations for the auction, with all proceeds going to Relay for Life. To donate an item to the silent auction, call Diane Durden at 760-218-4584 or Cathy Inscore at 760-898-5979.

The curtain rises at 7 p.m. The show, helmed by the veteran production team of Director Marty Neider and Musical Director Kathryn Ferguson, is a musical parody of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” The play has been described as “The Music Man” meets “Fargo,” minus the blood and trombones.

The play takes place in Bunyan Bay, Minnesota. Cantankerous bar owner Gunner Johnson, played by Rob Wanless, gets in an argument with his wife Clara, portrayed by his real-life spouse Betty Wanless. Gunner tells Clara he’s skipping Christmas, storms out of the bar, and goes snowmobiling across the lake, where he falls through the ice and goes into a coma. While in his coma, he’s visited by Sven Yorgensen, played by Theatre 29 veteran Charles Harvey. Sven, Gunner’s former partner in the bar, who once dated Clara and conned Gunner out of all his money, takes Gunner on a journey similar to that in Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” only very different. Will Gunner come out of his coma and find redemption with Clara? Other members of the cast include Theatre 29 newcomer Jonathan Fries as the clueless bar patron Knute Gunderson. Bernice Lundstrom, a former waitress at the bar, and the object of Knute’s affections, is played by Angelica Miller.

Some of the original songs in the musical include “The Wheel is Turning but the Hamster Is Dead,” “Gramma Cut the Christmas Cheese,” “I Love You More than Football,” “Gunner Fell into an Ice Hole,” and “I’d Rather Be Naughty.”

Tickets are $25 for the opening benefit, with all proceeds going to Relay for Life. To buy tickets for the opening gala, or to donate an item for the silent auction, call 760-218-4584 or 760-898-5979.

“A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol” runs Friday and Saturday nights, November 16 through December 15. There will be a Thursday night show November 29 and a 2:30 Sunday matinee December 9.

After opening night, tickets for “A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol” will be $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors and military, and $8 for students. To purchase tickets, go online to <http://www.theatre29.org/>www.theatre29.org, or call the box office at 760-361-4151.

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