It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas since the Lincoln Community Playhouse rolled out the heartwarming holiday fare Friday evening with the opening of “Ethan Claymore.”
The romantic comedy, written by Norm Foster and presented in the studio, was the perfect start to the season. The play takes place over the four days leading up to Christmas. Widowed egg farmer Ethan Claymore, played by Mark Feit, finds himself on the brink of bankruptcy and the entire community seems to know his business.
His well-intentioned neighbor, Douglas (D. Chappelle) has also decided it’s time for Ethan to get back out socially and arranges a “date” with single school teacher, Teresa (Deanna Walz). While all these is going on, Ethan receives word that his estranged brother Martin has died. So, Martin’s “spirit being” (Paul Durban) decides to drop in on Ethan as well.
Part “A Christmas Carol,” part “Christmas Vacation,” the production directed by Scott Glen struck the perfect holiday chords of redemption and hope with a little rum sprinkled in for good measure. The cast was spot on, with Chapelle providing the glue and Walz the glitter. Kudos to Noah Trumble and Dylan H. Wilson who played young Martin and young Ethan in scenes from the past.
The intimate setting of the studio allowed the audience to appreciate the expressions and nuances delivered by the stellar cast. Applause to the sound, lighting and stage crew who added to the holiday magic.
“Ethan Claymore” is another winner in the Playhouse’s strong 72nd season. Before the sales, before the tree, and the tinsel, and the holiday stress, enjoy an evening of laughs, friendship, and the maybe not quite perfect Christmas tree.
More holiday fun is ahead when “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” comes to the Playhouse mainstage December 8-17.