How Santa came to be | NevadaAppeal.com

How Santa came to be

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal The cast of "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus" poses at the Brewery Arts Center after rehearsal on Monday evening.
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Whether it be rich or poor, a child’s longings for pretty play things are but natural. Rich Bessie’s heart may suffer as much grief as poor Mayrie’s; she can be just as lonely and discontented, and just as gay and happy. I think, friend Claus, it is your duty to make all little ones glad, whether they chance to live in palaces or in cottages.

– From the book, “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus”

By Sam Bauman

Staff Writer

From where here did the legend of Santa Claus come?

Many have offered an explanation, but it was up to L. Frank Baum, who wrote “The Wizard of Oz,” to come up with the true answer.

He called his book “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.” Never read it? Don’t worry – you can see it “live” over the next two weekends as Carson Performing Arts presents an adaptation by Pat Cook at the Brewery Art Center’s Donald W. Reynolds Theatre.

Baum loved to write fantasy, and this is a wonderful example of his imagination at work. A lively cast of 30 Carson High School intermediate-drama students brings on the fun for guests young and old. Many of the roles are double; check the cast listing for who appears when.

Amid the traditional holiday fare, “Adventures” is a standalone example of imagination at work. It’s raucous, it’s funny, it has meaning, and it will, as they say, warm your heart.

Director is Genevive Christie, who is with the Sierra Nevada College in South Lake Tahoe and fulfilling her degree requirements. She was offered a chance to direct in her hometown of Fallon, but opted for this show here instead.

“I knew this would be fun to do,” she said during rehearsals. “I really wanted to work in Carson City.”

Helping out is the high school’s theater teacher, Karen Chandler, who, with the help of the Technical Theatre Class, did the set painting and costumes (the reindeer come complete with antlers and what appear to be union suits).

With all the doubling, keeping track of who’s who in the cast can be confusing, but safe to say that Lainey Henderson does an incredible job with her role as Jack Frost. And Dakota Dutcher as Frank Baum (yes, he wrote himself into the book) is an impressive and towering figure as he morphs into Santa. Well, sort of, as Gus DeBacco switches from Claus to Weakum, depending on the night.

Confused? Don’t worry, it’s all great fun with a happy ending. The show is in two acts, with Act 1 in the Burzee Woods, Laughing Valley and Chimneys, Reindeer and Ho Ho Ho; and Act 2 in the Frost Gale, Sleigh Bells and Awgass and Santa Claus. Don’t ask, just enjoy.

And Merry Christmas, Santa!

• Contact Sam Bauman at sbauman@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1236.

If you go

WHAT: Christmas comedy benefit for the Brewery, “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus,” by the Carson Performing Arts

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Dec. 8; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Dec. 9 and 10

WHERE: Brewery Art’s Donald W. Reynolds Theatre, 449 King St.

TICKETS: $5 for children 12 and under, $7 for students and seniors, $8 for everybody else

INFORMATION: 887-0438

Cast members

Numbers in () indicate December performance dates for double- cast roles

• L. Frank Baum – Dakota Dutcher

• Necile – Krystyne Basa (1, 3, 9), Jacklyn Reichelt (2, 8, 10)

• Ak – Alex Crounk

• Queen – Angelina Avitia (2, 3, 8), Chloe DeBacco (1, 9, 10)

• King Will – Will Dietlein

• Claus – Phillip Wortman (3, 8, 9), Gus DeBacco (1, 2, 10)

• Weakum – Gus DeBacco (3, 8, 9), Jessica Wilson (1, 2, 10)

• Mayrie – Karissa Pulizzotto (3, 8, 10), Jill Shufelt (1, 2, 9)

• Jack Frost – Lainey Henderson

• Awgwa 1 – Fernanda Caetano/Candice Fleming

• Awgwa 2 – Kenni Kinsey/Adrianna Winne

• Maid – Jessica Wilson (3, 8, 10), Jessica Hart (1, 2, 10)

• Reindeer 1 – Brittany Tussing (1, 8, 10), Tracy Morris (2, 3, 9)

• Reindeer 2 – Tahni Holms (1, 8, 10), Elise Sala (2, 3, 9)

• Barlo – Josh Wold

• Lem – Carinne Powell

• Child 1 – Jessica Hart

• Child 2 – Charlotte Ravenelle

• King Awgwa – Carmeron Shirey

• Queen Awgwa – Veronika Avitia (2, 3, 8), Tess Mangiapelo (1, 9, 10)

• Awgwa 3 – Candice Fleming/Fernanda Caetano

• Awgwa 4 – Adrianna Winne/Kenni Kinsey

• Water Sprite Queen – Karissa Pulizzotto (2, 3, 8), Charlotte Ravenelle (1, 9, 10)

• Queen Gnome – Tess Mangiapelo (2, 3, 8), Brooke Galyan (1, 9, 10)

• Queen Imp – Chloe DeBacco (2, 3, 8), Angelina Avitia (1)

• Princess Flash – Rachel Lindgren (2, 3, 10), Jill Shufelt (1, 8, 9)

• Beau-mermaid – Tracy Morris (3, 8, 9, 10), Veronika Avitia (1, 2)

• Fairy 1 – Charlotte Ravenelle (2, 3, 10), Rachel Lindgren (1, 8, 9)

• Fairy 2 – Brooke Galyan (2, 3, 8, 10), Karissa Pulizzotto (1, 9)




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