This Christmas show at the Belfry is a charming combination of old and new. Based on a Hans Christian Anderson story, it incorporates some very up-to-date local references.
A modern musical, it is a collaboration between Erin Macklem, who wrote the script, and Brad L’Ecuyer, who also does the musical direction. The Canadian College of the Performing Arts provides much of the talent, and the performers are quite wonderful. They begin with a delightful song of thanks to all the sponsors. A charming feature of this show is that some of the lyrics are set to the tunes of Christmas carols.
Special mention must be made of Jesse Deutcher in the role of the little match girl, whose voice is divine – clear and beautifully sensitive. Chase Sander plays opposite her as the irrepressible newspaper seller, who does his best to help his new and poverty-stricken friend.
The two share a marvelous chemistry on stage.
Comic relief is provided in the character of ByLaw Lance, played by Will Carr, who can quote chapter and verse of the Criminal Code, and who manages to find an infraction everywhere he looks. The use of a foot-propelled scooter with a loud bell adds much to his character. Additional emotion comes from Devin Adams as Mr. Kilt, a Scotsman with a broad accent and authentic garb which gives rise to some humorous digs.
Choirs from George Jay Elementary School and Central Middle School perform excellent songs and add a note of heartfelt pathos.
The thesis of this delightful show is that cooperation is better than conflict, and that kindness to each other is something we should all practice, but don’t always manage successfully. An appropriate message for the season
This Little Light runs until Dec. 23 at the Belfry. Give yourself and your family a huge Christmas treat – go and see it!