Cudahy resident Eugene Rubenzer will be among the stars of Acacia Theatre Company’s upcoming production of “The Gifts of the Magi.”
Drawn from two beloved stories by O. Henry, “The Gifts of the Magi” wraps the meaning of Christmas in the simplest of packages – selfless love. Acacia Theatre Company will present this captivating musical gem Dec. 5-13 in Concordia University Wisconsin’s Todd Wehr Auditorium, 12800 North Lake Shore Drive in Mequon.
Filled with warmth, humor and lilting songs, “The Gifts of the Magi” is based on two O. Henry stories that have become holiday classics – “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Cop and the Anthem.” It features a book by Mark St. Germain, music by Randy Courts and lyrics by Courts and St. Germain.
The Christmas prospects for young couple Jim and Della are as bleak as the New York City winter weather, as both are out of work and penniless. But in one magical moment, their sacrifices for each other create true wealth in the joy of love and giving.
The play also tells the hilarious tale of a cheerful homeless man named Soapy – played by Rubenzer – whose only Christmas wish is a warm place to spend the night, and his imaginative plan and comical attempts to achieve that goal.
“‘The Gifts of the Magi’ brings a classic of American literature to the stage in a most American form, the musical,” said director Stacy Becker. “It is a very simple story but one that will always be relevant because it is about love, family and the true reason for Christmas.”
“O. Henry wrote these stories 100 years ago, but their message is so appropriate for today,” she added. “The characters face challenges that many of us are confronting now, but they also experience a timeless and uplifting truth. The true joy of Christmas is found in the love that we give and receive.”
The play also poses a question to consider as holiday celebrations begin.
“In his story, O. Henry says the Magi were wise men who gave wise gifts and that Jim and Della also give gifts that, although they may seem ‘unwise,’ in truth are the very best gifts,” Becker said. “Why? O. Henry leaves it to the reader to decide what it is that makes their sacrificial giving so important and so reflective of the first Christmas. The play leaves you pondering that question, too.”
Performance and Ticket Information
Performances will be given at 8 p.m. on Dec. 5, 3 p.m. on Dec. 6, 8 p.m. on Dec. 11, 4 p.m. on Dec. 12 and 3 p.m. on Dec. 13.
Tickets cost $10. Season subscribers may purchase up to 20 tickets at the reduced price of $7 per ticket. Tickets may be purchased by calling (414) 744-5995 or visiting www.acaciatheatre.com.
About Acacia Theatre Company
Founded in 1980, Acacia Theatre Company is an independent, non-profit, interdenominational group of dramatic artists who share a common desire to integrate art and faith by presenting theatre from a Judeo-Christian worldview. Through uplifting, quality entertainment, Acacia provides occasion for thanksgiving, growth and enjoyment, and the opportunity for Christians and non-Christians to consider their lives in relation to God. More information is available at www.acaciatheatre.com.
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