In the course of 90-minutes, Long Islanders will be transported through a whirlwind of holiday hoopla that begins in New York City and ends at the North Pole all the while … on ice. "Christmas Celebration on Ice” comes to Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts on Dec. 7 where the stage becomes a rink.
“This heartwarming story will leave people ready to embrace the season and get in the holiday spirit,” says narrator and vocalist Heather Rae. “There are parts that are very high energy with a lot of nostalgia and heartfelt vibes.”
In addition to the holiday fanfare, the audience gets treated to some professional ice skating. Here's what you can expect at the show:
CHRISTMAS IN TWO ACTS
The two-act show highlights memorable moments of the Christmas season. Act I focuses on Christmas in New York City including carriage rides through Central Park, street performers in Times Square and “The Nutcracker” at the New York City Ballet.
“We use the traditional Tchaikovsky score but it’s reorchestrated and re-imagined providing a balance of nostalgia and newness,” says show director and writer Terry Barr. “There’s also an original finale once they reach ‘Candy Land.’ ”
Act II heads up to the North Pole where elves are busy building toys at Santa’s workshop with a big finale involving the arrival of Santa Claus himself.
“This show helps you escape your daily activity and transport yourself to feel that Christmas warmth,” says show producer Alex Wilfand. “It’s a nice break from the real world.”
SKATING IN STYLE
“This is a little bit different from the Olympics,” says Wilfand. “It’s what we call trick skating, which means people will see more tricks than they would in the Olympics including overhead spinning lifts plus double and triple jumps.”
However, the theatrical venue is rather uncommon for an ice show, but that’s part of the magic.
“The ice comes in slabs that get malleted in [like puzzle pieces] and we flatten it out with our own little mini Zamboni,” says Wilfand. “We make it work.”
Barr adds, “Every venue we play at is a different size and shape. We load in the ice and get to know the venue a few hours before we perform. Everyone on the tour is very experienced at doing that. We do a tech run and make adjustments for each specific space.”
CIRQUE, SONGS AND FESTIVE SETS
Other players in the show include cirque performers such as a contortionist, a hand balancer, a juggler and ladder balancer.
“When the toys come to life, one of the cirque performers is a cowboy and he balances ladders on his chin and juggles,” says Wilfand. “It a big, unexpected moment in the show.”
Live music is performed by Rae as well as a pianist and violinist. Traditional tunes like “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Deck the Halls” and “White Christmas” are incorporated including originals like “Christmas Celebration on Ice,” “Candy Land,” “Animal Parade” and “Wrap It Up.”
The set is projection mapped with video as well as some large set pieces like the Manhattan skyline and Santa’s Workshop. There are also animals that are represented through animatronics and puppeteering.
“There are cool special effects and extravagant costumes, some of which have $4,000 worth of crystals on them,” says Wilfand. “You’ll see over 300 different looks over the 90 minutes.”
FUN FOR THE AUDIENCE
There are several moments where the viewers can become part of the show. One involves giving Santa a helping hand.
“On Christmas Eve, there aren’t any stars in the sky and Santa doesn’t know how he is going to fly through the night and find all the homes,” says Barr. “The audience must light up the night sky to help Santa find his way using light up toys available for purchase through the merchandise booth in the lobby.. There’s even a surprise at the end when Santa forgets three gifts from his bag at the workshop in the North Pole.”
“CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION ON ICE”
WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Dec. 7; Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St.
COST $35-$75. Light up toys are $15
MORE INFO 631-207-1313, patchoguetheatre.org