Sunday, January 13, 2019

Dial M for Murder at Lakewood

Heath Koerschgen, Jacob Lee Smith, and Clara-Liis Hillier
By Tina Arth

If we know the who, the why, the where, and the how of a murder, how can it still be a mystery? Lakewood Center for the Arts’ production of Frederick Knott’s classic 1952 Dial M for Murder answers the question with a smart, elegant show that keeps newbies guessing while offering Dial M veterans the fun of watching for tells. Director David Sikking and his able cast ensure that the now 67-year-old play retains a contemporary flavor, despite changes in mores and technology in the intervening years.

The key to this elegant murder mystery is just this: will the villain be caught, and if so, how? Urbane retired tennis champ Tony Wendice tries to pull off the Holy Grail of crime – the “perfect murder.” The intended victim is his wealthy wife Margot, who has ended a brief affair with American TV writer Max Halliday. While Max (now relegated to the friend zone) is visiting, Tony conspires with an old school acquaintance, the corrupt Captain Lesgate, to do the deed (thus ensuring that Tony will inherit Margot’s substantial estate).  The action speeds up when Tony and Max go out for the evening, leaving Margot home alone and a perfect target for the assassin. Things go exactly as planned until the end of Act I, when Tony’s plot goes horribly awry. Act II is devoted to unraveling the murderous mess, helped along by Halliday’s imagination, a classic bumbling detective, a purloined letter, a mass of cash, inexplicably unlocked doors, and other nifty plot points to keep the audience on its toes.

Jacob Lee Smith handles the role of Tony with a light touch – charming, but not so smarmy that we initially hate him, and he smoothly lets his dark side shine whenever Margot’s back is turned. Clara-Liis Hillier is vulnerable, sensitive and sincere as Margot, and her palpable fear makes her battle with Lesgate (Tom Mounsey) a white-knuckle ride.  Heath Koerschgen (Max Halliday) really shines in Act II, as he glibly uses his screenwriter background to construct an elaborate, Hollywood-worthy explanation of how the crime might have played out – and he gives the role a subtlety that left me hard pressed to spot the point at which he starts to take his fantastic scenario seriously.

From the moment I saw Don Alder (Chief Inspector Hubbard) awkwardly kneeling in the doorway, I knew I was watching the authentic archetype for a universe of Columbo-like detectives – slightly clueless, but never an over-the-top buffoon, until he finally shows us (and the rest of the cast) the brilliance of his intellectual sleight of hand. The entire cast (except Koerschgen, the American) adroitly delivers their dialogue in the requisite, class-appropriate British accents.

John Gerth’s scenic design does a fine job of (literally) setting the scene – detailed, elegant, immediately conveying the upper-crust world Tony so enjoys (courtesy of Margot’s wealth). Grace O’Malley’s costumes fill the same role for the actors – I was especially taken with Tony’s shiny suit and Margot’s peignoir, but the hemline on Margot’s first dress is somewhat disconcerting.  Special props to Jeff Forbes’ lighting design – there is no change of scenery, yet the set is never static and the mood shifts nicely through the use of darkness and light.

Dial M can seem like a long show, but director Sikking paces his actors and uses all of the tech at his disposal to keep the audience fully involved, and he does full justice to Knox’s brilliant, tightly plotted show.  Despite the disappearance of phones with actual dials, Lakewood’s current offering is every bit as engaging and fun as in any of its previous stage, film, and television incarnations.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

2019 Open with STAGES’ Blockbuster Les Misérables

Photo by Frank Hunt

By Tina Arth

As we open 2019, I cannot imagine a better time for passionate young people to take to the stage for a powerful show about sacrifice, honor, and social justice – in other words, for Hillsboro’s STAGES Performing Arts Youth Academy to present the school edition of Les Misérables. Director Luis Ventura and Musical Director Erin Riha have managed to attract a truly first-rate group of young actors (age range is 13 to 18) and molded them into a dynamic ensemble accented by powerful lead performances that do full justice to Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg’s adaptation of the classic Victor Hugo story. For those not already immersed in the world of Les Mis fandom, the story is complex and sometimes confusing, moving from Digne to Montreuil to Paris, and from 1815 to 1823 to 1832 – all with no spoken dialogue. However, when the words “Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me…It is the future that they bring, when tomorrow comes!” ring out, it’s impossible to miss the passionate relevance of the tale – I could not help but think of the kids from Parkland. In short, this cast made me care about the characters and the story – high praise from someone who is, in general, not a Les Mis fan.

In a nutshell: 19th century France is wracked with poverty and social inequality. Hero Jean Valjean is released on parole after 19 of his 20-year sentence for stealing a loaf of bread. He breaks parole, infuriating Inspector Javert, who becomes obsessed with seeing Valjean punished. Valjean assumes a new identity, becomes a wealthy factory owner, and learns that one of his employees, Fantine, has been unjustly fired and driven to prostitution to support her daughter Cosette. Fantine dies, but Valjean vows to take care of Cosette. Valjean pays a handsome price to free Cosette from the evil Thénardiers, but is forced to reveal his real identity and flee from Javert. The Thénardiers’ daughter Éponine loves young student Marius, who falls for Cosette. Marius could flee with Cosette and Valjean, but chooses to stay to fight on the barricades with fellow idealistic rebels. The students capture Javert as a spy, but Valjean shows up, shows him mercy, and releases him. As the barricades fall and the rebels are massacred, Marius is severely wounded, but Valjean finds him and carries him through the sewers to safety. Javert dies, Cosette and Marius are wed, Valjean dies. People sing a lot, followed on opening night by a spontaneous and heartfelt standing ovation from a full and enthusiastic house.

Isaac Chapelle (Jean Valjean) is a real find – an accomplished vocalist who makes the challenging role seem effortless, whose robust vocals can be easily heard over the music, and who is a skilled enough actor bridge the 17-year gap in his age from prologue to closing (despite a less-then-believable beard). The show would be worth attending just to watch him, but he is ably supported by the other leads and a versatile ensemble cast. Three key women (Anna Brenner as Fantine, Ruth Hailey as Cosette, and Sherwood’s Rachel Doyel as Éponine) bring amazing vocal chops to the stage, owning their roles and giving heart-breaking authenticity to their stories.

Benjamin McGregor and Noelle Parent as the despicable Thénardiers offer spectacular comic relief, going close but never completely over the top. Zakeus Vertner seems like a classic loveable scamp as Gavroche, yet he creates a character who evokes an audible gasp when shot on the barricades (for me, the most “Parkland” moment of the show).  With my apologies to the rest of the cast – there were several other notable performances – I must single out ensemble member Annika Hyatt, who gave remarkable intensity to a series of minor roles.

Sets, costuming, and lighting all exceeded my expectations for a youth performance by a mile, and a close look at the program makes it clear that it took a village to mount this amazing production. STAGES founder Cindy Williams, along with Ventura and Riha, have given 30 young performers the chance to perform in a beautiful “bucket list” show that should nurture their love for theater while showing the world that youth theatre can rival, and even best, many adult productions. Currently, all performances are sold out.

STAGES production of Les Misérables is playing at HART Theatre, 185 SE Washington Street, Hillsboro through Sunday, January 20th, with Friday and Saturday sows at 7:00 PM and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

TITG Closes the Year With Nuncrackers

Jennifer Yamashiro, Pruella Centers, Jeannine Stassens, 
Brandon Weaver, Wendy Bax. Photo credit to Jenn McFarling

By Tina Arth

The Little Sisters of Hoboken have taken their show on the road, so they must really like each other – how else to explain three of them reprising a show I saw six years ago at a different theater? The current production at Theatre in the Grove has a different director, several new cast members, a petite orchestra, and the irrepressible Parker Pup collecting toys in the lobby – but despite a few ragged moments, the heart of the show still beats strong, and the silly, irreverent humor is definitely intact. Director Ken Centers (with the help of the Reverend Mother’s piercing glare and Sister Mary Hubert’s threatening yardstick) has transformed the most dysfunctional troop (and troupe) of nuns in history into a total crowd-pleaser, and local audiences are reveling in the fun.

Nuncrackers is the Christmas-themed third of a series of sequels to playwright Dan Goggin’s original musical nun-fest, Nunsense, and like the others, it is filled with Catholic humor and a mixture of comic and more touching songs. In this version, the Little Sisters are preparing to do a live Christmas broadcast from their new television studio in the convent basement (paid for with Sister Mary Paul’s Publisher’s Clearing House winnings). Of course nothing goes right – Sister Mary Leo is on the injured list right before her big ballet number, Father Virgil has to step in to cover for the absent Sister Julia Child of God on her cooking show, Sister Mary Robert Anne is relentlessly scheming on how to score a big solo number, and Sister Mary Paul (aka Amnesia) delivers nonstop malapropisms that sometimes leave little to the imagination. Of course, this is holiday themed musical comedy, so the show must (and does) go on, with lots of help from an active audience participation program. Oh – and the mystery of the stolen Christmas gifts is resolved with the expected heartwarming solution!

The sisters have brought in three school kids from Mount St. Helen’s Convent School, and the trio (Abrianna Feinauer, Rachel Newton, and Ian Romig) brings a lot of comic and vocal talent to the show. Romig is a hoot to watch, as he goes along with the ridiculous demands placed upon him – his body says “I’m being a good sport” but his face tells a different story. Another high point, setting the tone for the whole show, is the entire opening sequence (instead of music or a conventional curtain speech, we get nuns telling slightly off-color jokes and some truly bizarre Christmas gifts for a few lucky audience members).  Wendy Bax (Sister Mary Paul) follows up her Secret Santa gig with a rendition of “Santa Ain’t Comin’ To Our House” straight from the back alleys of Dollywood, and the tutu-clad Jeanine Stassens (Reverend Mother) and Brandon Weaver (Father Virgil) attack “The Nutcracker” with surprising vigor – what they lack in grace, they make up for in enthusiasm.

One of the best scenes is Weaver’s cooking show – in a world where fruitcake humor can be mind-numbingly tired, Weaver uses little more than physical comedy and fake fruit to leave the audience in stitches. The audience is rooting from the start for Jennifer Yamashiro (Brooklyn-born Sister Mary Robert Anne), but when she finally gets her big chance in “All I Want for Christmas” it’s doubly poignant, as she’s joined on stage by son Noah doing a couple of fine trumpet solos. Pruella Centers (Sister Mary Hubert) is as much fun to watch as to listen to with the over-the-top vocal riffs in her big number, “It’s Better to Give.”

Based on the nearly sold-out house, it looks like Theatre in the Grove is once again demonstrating the company’s knack for offering just what their audiences want. Many of the best seats are gone for upcoming performances, so buy now!

Nuncrackers is playing at Theatre in the Grove, 2028 Pacific Avenue, Forest Grove through December 23d, with performances Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Ralph Radio Theatre’s 1943 Christmas From Home – Holiday Heart and Soul

By Tina Arth

Never having been exposed to Ralph Radio Theatre, I had no idea what to expect from the group’s 2018 offering – but since it was playing just down the road at the Alpenrose Dairy Opera House I decided to give it a shot.  As a Christmas musical, the show falls somewhere in the middle – a few strong vocalists, lots of good harmony, and the fine accompaniment by the Dreamfire Express Band more than compensate for a few wobbly moments. However, in its role as a Christmas tribute to the troops and those who remained stateside during WWII, the show leads the pack. Author Pat Kruis Tellinghusen finds a beautiful balance between the now campy humor of 1940s radio technique, advertising, and general schmaltz and the heart-breaking reality of the human face of war.

Maybe the show’s powerful effect on me is partly due to its timing – I saw it on a day of national mourning for Bush 41, which had already revived powerful memories of my own dad’s service in WWII. However, I think even without those stimuli I would have responded to the story of how Kenny Saito and his family lost everything when they were “relocated” to Minidoka, the message left on the airman’s grave on Kiska, and many other touching moments.

Like most “live radio” productions, the show is done in real time – radios don’t just go silent so the audience can spend 15 minutes in the lobby of the theater. Led by emcee (and actual radio veteran) John Hugill, the cast delivers 90 minutes of songs, some from the era and some traditional Christmas tunes, led off by the poignant and topical “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” The musical numbers are punctuated by a series of vignettes, some from a very Portland point of view – Vanport housing, rivalries between Lincoln and Wilson High Schools, ration coupons from Laurelhurst, and the reaction of locals to the relocation of friends and neighbors of Japanese heritage. The more somber moments are leavened by the cast’s wonderful advertising spots – Teel Tooth Cleanser, Woodbury Facial Soap, Lifesavers, and of course everyone’s favorite, Camel Cigarettes.

Some things to watch for include the lovely little waltz number with Chuck Weed and Robin Michaels, Daniel Rhovan (pretty much any time he’s on the microphone, with his mobile face and equally mobile speaking voice – and in his spare time he makes a fine Foley artist), David Connelly’s monologue, and Emily Smith’s vocal solos. Jennifer Gallagher’s amazing eyes and musical versatility (who plays the mandolin these days!?) are equally mesmerizing.

A few of the show’s extras merit special mention. First, producer/Director Kimberly Poe has designed a first-class program – so many detailed touches and genuine period images that I’ll actually hang on to it as a keepsake. Second, the colorful and authentic women’s costumes contrast brilliantly with the sober precision of the men’s authentic military uniforms. Finally, bandleader/vocal director Cary Buchanan and his 6 musicians deliver a big-band feel that works beautifully in that great barn of an opera house!

Ralph Radio Theatre’s 1943 Christmas From Home plays at the Alpenrose Dairy Opera House, 6149 SW Shattuck Road, Portland with 7:30 performances December 8th, 14th, and 15th – not too many more chances to go!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Twilight Goes for Laughs – and Nails It!

Rob Harris, Dorinda Toner, Ruth  Jenkins, Madison Gourlay,
David Mitchum Brown, and Blaine Vincent III.

By Tina Arth

I must toss another bouquet to the exceptional diversity of this year’s holiday theatrical offerings – Twilight Theater Company’s The Game’s Afoot – Holmes for the Holidays is pure fun, well done, with just a faint glow of Christmas festivity that sets the season yet contrasts dramatically with the show’s sinister events. Playwright Ken Ludwig’s quasi-Holmesian farce, in the hands of director Tony Bump and a uniformly lovely cast, is a hilarious tribute to the entire murder-mystery genre with its non-stop plot twists and equally twisted personal relationships.

Imagine if you can, a world without Sherlock Holmes. While the Holmes persona and mythos were created by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the master detective was propelled into the American consciousness in large part by actor/playwright William Gillette, who shaped the contemporary image of Holmes while playing the role over 1300 times for American and English audiences. Gillette made a fortune off his Holmesian theatrical endeavors, so it’s not surprising that he spent a fair amount building Gillette Castle, his own personal retreat on a bluff high above the Connecticut River, and Gillette’s magnificent home (well, a set representing the home, and laden with a delightful array of hidden rooms, secret doors, gadgets and widgets) is the setting for The Game’s Afoot. Stripped to its barest essence, the story is: Gillette is exiting the theater after a performance when someone takes a shot at him, hitting him in the arm. He retreats to his mansion to convalesce under the watchful eye of his doting mother, Martha.  Just before Christmas, he invites the other cast members for a festive weekend visit, with the unexpected addition of universally reviled theater critic Daria Chase. Attempting to be a detective, rather than just portray one, Gillette uses a play-within-a-play format in an attempt to uncover the identity of his assailant (shades of Hamlet?). His ploy fails, and things turn deadly when Daria turns up with a knife in her back – which triggers the arrival of the bumbling Inspector Goring. I’ll say no more to preserve the whodunit surprises of the intricate plot, which owes at least as much to Agatha Christie as to Conan Doyle.

There’s a lot to praise in the 8-person cast. A few particular highlights?  Watch Ruth Jenkins’ marvelous turn as bumbling mama bear Martha Gillette – a sweet old lady who will go to any lengths to protect her baby boy. Keep a close eye on Blaine Vincent III (as the charming but dumb as rocks Simon Bright) – does his “gee whiz” naivety conceal anything? Marvel at Madison Gourlay (as Aggie Wheeler) as she slips into a new personality for every man in the room. Don’t miss the sharp timing and quirky chemistry between Rob Harris and Dorinda Toner (as Felix and Madge Geisel). Enjoy every snarky minute you get with Marcella Laasch (Daria Chase) before her untimely demise. Admire how cluelessly Doreen Lundberg (Inspector Goring) stumbles into clues, and how seamlessly David Mitchum Brown (William Gillette) floats in and out of his Holmes persona. The cast works together like a well-oiled machine (much better than some of Gillette’s household gadgets), and despite a barrage of alternate facts, they keep the audience on board.

Finally, special props to Scott Miler’s elaborate set design plus Tony Bump’s and Jennifer Johnson’s the glorious costumes, which helped to establish the time, place, and social milieu of the action. In his Director’s Notes, Tony Bump says “There's no place like Holmes for the Holidays!” – I could not agree more.

Twilight Theater Company’s The Game’s Afoot – Holmes for the Holidays is playing at the Performing Arts Theater, 7515 N. Brandon Avenue, Portland through December 16th, with performances at 8 P.M. on Thursday-Friday–Saturday, and 3:00 PM on Sunday.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


 Lalanya Gunn, Nicole Rayner, Karen Moore, Sara 
Beck, and Les Ico
By Tina Arth

Three shows in, the 2018 holiday play season is making me feel like the boy who cried wolf – but in reverse. Will readers believe the praise I am heaping on some of the shows I’m seeing? Will they dismiss my pleas to “not miss this gem” as hyperbole, naïve sycophancy, or intellectual cowardice? This is a risk I’ve got to run, because Beaverton Civic Theatre’s beautiful production of Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky demands star billing (pun intended) and deserves nothing but full houses.  Director Patrick Nims may be new to Oregon, but Silent Sky is ample proof that his impressive Bay area resume is much more than hype.

The play is based on the true story of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, whose brilliant analytical work at Harvard (kept behind the scenes in the male-dominated academic world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) formed the basis for Edward Hubble to establish that the universe is expanding. Working as part of “Pickering’s Harem,” an all-woman team of human “computers” under the direction of astronomer Edward Charles Pickering, Leavitt and her female colleagues set the stage for much of modern astronomy. In Gunderson’s version of the story, a much larger group has been condensed to just three (real) women, Leavitt, Pickering’s former housekeeper Williamina Fleming, and fiercely feminist Annie Jump Cannon. The cast is completed with two fictionalized characters, Henrietta’s sister Margaret and Peter Shaw, a young astronomer working under Pickering. While Henrietta has left the family home to pursue her work at Harvard, homebody Margaret pursues the thoroughly traditional roles of wife and mother, sustained by her religion and her love of music. Despite their vast external differences, the two sisters maintain a powerful bond, and it is Margaret’s music that gives Henrietta the inspiration for her greatest discovery. The plot is embellished nicely by Shaw’s infatuation with Henrietta, the growing relationship between the three “computers,” and Henrietta’s (genuine, and tragic) severe illness that ends her life just as her work is on the verge of receiving public acclaim.

I was amazed by the precision of the performances of Karen Moore (Henrietta Leavitt), Sara Beck (Annie Cannon), and Lalanya Gunn (Williamina Fleming). Moore’s machine gun delivery captures not only the character’s partial deafness, but also a quirky, almost-autistic obsession with the night sky and the potential vastness of the universe. Gunn maintains a lovely Scottish accent throughout, embellishing her cheeky British wit with her warm, down-to-earth approach to life. Beck is simply fierce – an angry mama bear protecting, not her babies, but the science she reveres, yet allowing a reluctant tenderness toward her fellow computers to color her performance. The chemistry between the three women is evocative and believable, and their comedic interactions lend a lovely light touch to an otherwise intense work.

Les Ico provides critical counterpoint – Ico initially inspires contempt, but later pity as he captures the spirit of every bumbling, embarrassed, easily intimidated and easily infatuated physics grad student I’ve ever met (and I’ve met many!). Nicole Rayner gives Margaret just the right touch of the traditional woman of the era, but with a strength of character that rivals Henrietta’s. The chasm between the two sisters is both illustrated and narrowed when Rayner’s character says, “We both look in the same direction, but our understanding is distinct.” Watching Rayner, there is no temptation to belittle Margaret’s worldview even if we do not embrace it.

The lead role in Silent Sky is, in many ways, filled by the sometimes spine-tingling video projection that surrounds the audience on three sides – at times, it’s like watching a play in a planetarium. Themes of the insignificance one person, one planet, even one solar system in the vast scope of the universe are exquisitely expressed as the scenery transitions from a rural home to Harvard to the vastness of the ocean, then ultimately dwarfed by the majesty of the silent sky. Director Patrick Nims deserves top billing as the architect of this visual feast, and for assembling a cast worthy of his vision. I’ll say it – do not miss this gem.

Beaverton Civic Theatre’s Silent Sky runs through Saturday, December 15th at the Beaverton City Library Auditorium. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2:00 p.m. on Sundays.

HART Reprises 2016’s Holly Jolly With Some New Twists

The cast of Holly Jolly Family Christmas Show

By Tina Arth

Some things just never change. A great example is HART Theatre’s 2018 production of Holly Jolly Family Christmas Show – yes, there have been numbers added and others removed since the show’s 2016 debut, and yes, there are many new cast members, but the heart of the show is intact. As in its earlier incarnation, on a purely qualitative level it is not the “best” Christmas show of the season – but it’s still one of the most fun, and it’s a true family show, just dripping with appeal for audiences of all ages.  While things on stage occasionally get pretty frantic, Chris Byrne (co-director/choreographer) and Sandy Libonati (co-director/vocal director) have done a great job of corralling and organizing a lot of bodies and voices in the relatively small space available at HART.

Holly Jolly is an original show by local singers/dancers/actors Chris Byrne and Sarah Fuller. The wraparound script tells the story of Christmas Eve 1974 with the Hart family, Phil, Barb, kids Greg and Jeff, with the 2018 addition of grandmother Gammy. While a Christmas tree lurks in the background, the family is nestled around the television, preferring TV Guide’s cornucopia of holiday specials to traditions like “The Night Before Christmas.” The real meat of the show is a montage of live action performances, backed up by video clips of holiday classic shows on an enormous TV screen. Whether you’re a fan of The Grinch, It’s a Wonderful Life, Rudolph, Charlie Brown, I Love Lucy, Andy Williams, David Bowie, or Gammy’s special eggnog–free eggnog recipe (hey, at least it’s vegan!), there’s something for everyone. A series of hilariously retro actual TV ads are the star on top of the tree – a reminder for some of us of the primitive and naïve roots of television, and a shock for younger audience members that we were ever that lame (yes, we were!).

With twenty cast members playing 75+ roles, there’s no way to acknowledge every bright spot in the show, but a few actors absolutely demand special recognition.  For across-the-board excellence in diverse roles, there’s Elise Byrne, Emma Heesacker, Riley Irvine, Rachel Roberts, Nick Serrone, Kieran Thomas, and Max Powell. Powell’s stunning take on Cher is a complete showstopper, Roberts does a marvelously petulant Lucy van Pelt, and Byrne’s Heat Miser is unforgettable. HART newcomer Thomas’ versatility makes him a real find – he channels Frank Sinatra’s energy and Ricky Ricardo’s Cuban flair, and his David Bowie was the unchallenged high point of the show (until Cher appeared).  Henry Bieker and Olin Dawson show off serious comic chops as the young Hart boys, especially with their melodramatic despair and fluid physicality as bored children.  Holly Popkins (as mom Barb Hart) is another welcome newcomer (to HART, and to the USA) with perhaps the best solo voice in the show – and her “White Christmas” duet with husband Phil (Tanner Morton) is exquisite. An unexpected but delightful addition was the cameo by Sandy Libonati’s dog, Jeter, playing Max in the Whoville scene – I would have loved to see more of him, but he’s a youngster and may not have been up for a larger role.

Master carpenter William Crawford’s fine set creates a believable family living room while leaving plenty of space for the TV performers, and light, sound, and video operators William Ferguson and Rebecca Glass stay on top of a truly challenging show. The aforementioned 75+ roles require almost as many costumes, and in addition to co-directing Chris Byrne also takes the lead on that critical role.

Many of this year’s holiday shows are only peripherally related to Christmas, which makes Holly Jolly an utterly welcome way to rev up your seasonal spirit. Grab the family or hook up with a group of like-minded friends and head to HART, but save Gammy’s special eggnog for post-show relaxation in the warmth and safety of your own home!

Holly Jolly Family Christmas Show is playing at the HART Theatre, 185 SE Washington, Hillsboro through Sunday, December 16th, with performances Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.