Madison Community Players returns to the stage this weekend with “A Nice Family Christmas,” its first production in two years.
The play tells the story of a family getting together for a Christmas Eve celebration with problems and dysfunctions that create comedy and fun.
V. Lori Hedges, the director, said the play is the first for Madison Community Players since 2019 when productions stopped due to COVID-19 pandemic. She said “A Nice Family Christmas” reintroduces the group to the community with performances set for 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday at Richwood on the River, 1233 Highway 36 in Milton, Kentucky.
A Nice Family Christmas” is the story of a young newspaper reporter on the brink of being fired, yet has been assigned a last chance story about a typical family Christmas. So he goes home to his family in Minnesota, where he and his two siblings gather at his mother’s apartment along with the wife of the oldest son with other family members popping up unannounced to add to the comedy.
“Uncle Bob just shows up, they didn’t know he was coming. Grandma shows up, they didn’t know she was coming. The grandmother is a really funny character. She’s just so feisty,” said Hedges. “She does things to push their buttons.”
Hedges noted several of the family members are dealing with various personal issues, adding to the commotion.
“Uncle Bob has a drinking problem and is estranged from his kids. The oldest son is separated from his wife and having to work things out.” Then there’s the newspaper reporter trying to save his career and his relationship with his girlfriend. “They’re all working on problems at the same time that they’re trying to celebrate,” Hedges said. “It all comes together in the end and works out. It’s a really good story and it’s really funny.”
The cast includes Tami Dubuque as the mother, Stephanie Hellmann as the grandmother, Joe Morris as Uncle Bob, Lindsay Holley as Stacy, Michael Hedges as Carl, Alec Lichlyter as Michael and Clarice Scheele as Jill. Emily Hall is the stage manager while Mary Ritchie is the board operator for lights and sound. Additionally, Shawe theatre students will be assisting.
Hedges said “A Nice Family Christmas” is a two-act play so there will be an intermission. She said there will be refreshments including the same type of cookies used in the play along with various beverages available.
“It’s not a dinner theatre, but a snack theatre,” she said.
Hedges noted the space at Richwood “is really beautiful” and will be decorated for Christmas “to make it more festive.”
Tickets for “A Nice Family Christmas” can be purchased online by using the eventbrite link on the Madison Community Players Inc. Facebook Page or purchased at the door. Tickets cost $12 with $2 off for a canned food donation.
“We would love people to come see our show because I know they are going to love it,” Hedges said. “It’s fun. It’s a Christmas show but it’s not just about Christmas.”
She said everyone involved in the play “has worked really hard and I’m really excited for people to see this show.”
Madison Community Players is working to schedule more productions in 2022 beginning in February with an evening of two one-act plays — “For Whom the Southern Bell Tolls,” which is a parody of Tennessee Williams’ ”The Glass Menagerie” and “Spooky Dog,” a parody of the cartoon character “Scoopy Doo.”