Some Christmases are not so holly or jolly as the Dubois family in StoryBook’s Twas the Night Before Christmas are about to learn.

The family booked a ski vacation to help get them into the holiday spirit, but Dad (Janos Zeller) had commitments at the office so he had to return to the city after dropping the family off.

We learn about Dad’s skewed loyalties in I-Contact, a song in which he tries to explain the newest app he’s trying to market but which makes it clear his problem is he doesn’t have enough time with his family.

In her song I Hate Christmas, teenage daughter Kaitlyn (Peniel Negre) laments being taken away from her friends and her blog, and younger brother Gavin (Kelden Christensen) is afraid Santa won’t know where to bring the presents if the family doesn’t get home in time.

Gavin’s worst fears are realized when Dad returns to pick them up, only to have a freak snowstorm strand them in the cabin with minimal phone and Internet service. He asks, Santa, Can You See Me? When they hear stomping on the roof of the cabin, Mom, Dad and the sister soon share Gavin’s fears in a spooky song called Something’s On The Roof. It’s up to Mom (Amanda Roe Cross) yet again to try to salvage a tricky situation.

Fortunately, help arrives in the person of Christine (Jocelyn Brayne), who claims to be a park ranger, but who is someone much more special as she hints at in her song, Spare a Thought for Mrs. Claus.

As embodied by Brayne, Christine is very much the Ghost of Christmas Present from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It’s her duty to help the Dubois family members reclaim the real spirit of Christmas, which she does in prompting Dad to recall Extraordinary Days and to have Mom and Dad reminisce about Macaroni Angels, the symbol of those wonderful Christmases when they had few material possessions but were rich in happiness, contentment and love.

With Twas the Night Before Christmas, Joe Slabe, who wrote the story and nine original songs, has crafted an old-fashioned Hallmark family musical. It’s delightful and filled with honest sentiments, easily identifiable characters, some important lessons and a bit of magic.

Because there are no magical reindeer, talking snowmen, grinches to reform or elves, Twas the Night Before Christmas is not a show for preschoolers. It’s admirable for parents to want to introduce preschoolers to …read more



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Review: Twas the Night Before Christmas delivers holiday message of importance of family

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