The music at The Living Christmas Tree this year was as good as ever. The nativity scene and passion play were good too. Unfortunately, this year’s contemporary story dragged. The idea was okay but the script had too many dramatic pauses. It was almost as if the actors forgot their lines, which I’m sure isn’t the case. One detail made me wonder if the writer lives out west. The show opens with a TV news reporter who works for the fictional KLCT, as opposed to WLCT.
A troubled teen is taken in by a nice couple at Thanksgiving. The girl had a job at a big retailer similar to Best Buy. Actually, it was more like the Buy More on the show “Chuck.” The employee uniforms were almost identical and they had a group of nerds (not geeks) who installed equipment. The teen was orphaned when her youth-pastor parents died in a car wreck. The audience knows that the couple’s daughter died of leukemia two years ago. The living girl and the dead girl would be about the same age. Over a month, the girl lashes out verbally and ultimately runs away on Christmas Eve. I got frustrated because the girl kept telling the couple that they couldn’t understand her pain but they didn’t tell her about their own loss until after she ran away and was brought back to the house by the police.
After last year and the year before, perhaps I raised my expectations too high. Although I was disappointed by the writing, I plan to go to next year’s show to see what they’ve been planning. Before the performance, they put up a slide saying it takes 16 months to prepare for each production.