Washington County Playhouse stages comedy 'Dashing Through The Snow!' for the holidays
Holidays are meant for family.
But when you’re as dysfunctional as the clan in Tinsel, Texas, it’s bound to make you laugh like a bowl full of jelly.
Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater and Children’s Theater presents “Dashing Through the Snow.” The show opens 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, and continues Fridays and Saturdays through Saturday, Dec. 22, with matinees at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, 9 and 16 at the downtown Hagerstown theater.
“Dashing Through the Snow” begins four days before Christmas when guests start arriving at the Snowflake Inn — and that’s when the hilarity begins.
Laura J. Martin, who co-owns the Playhouse with husband Shawn, is back on stage as two characters — Cuddles and Frankie.
She said they chose “Dashing Through the Snow” for the season because of its comedic pedigree; writers Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, Jamie Wooten wrote “The Golden Girls.” Jones/Hope/Wooten also wrote “The Dixie Swim Club” that the Playhouse staged several years ago as well, and was a hit with the audience.
“It’s a nontraditional comedic holiday show and a lot of fun,” she said.
She said Cuddles “is a lot like Mrs. Claus,” and while Frankie is one of four sisters who arrive at the Inn, she calls her, “probably the most normal sister.”
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s all big personalities, big characters and it’s just hilarious and a blast. And if the audience has half as much fun as we’re having on stage, they’re going to have a great time,” she said.
Martin said it’s fun to be able to be onstage for this show.
“It’s fun to be onstage at the Playhouse because it feels like home, because it is home,” she said. “We love all of the patrons and it’s a lot of fun to do what we get to do. It’s amazing.”
Matthew Crawford of Frederick, Md., also takes two roles in the show. He’s Hoyt in the first act, and Raynerd in the second act.
Crawford said the show is “hilarious.”
“It’s a little different from your typical Christmas show,” he said.
He said taking on two characters has been “a lot of fun.”
“It’s always a feat to distinguish different characters whether it’s different mannerisms, different voices, different energy entirely,” he said. “Working at The Playhouse I’ve played multiple characters before, but these are a little bit more extreme.”
And he’s able to play two different spectrums. He said Hoyt “is trying to put his family back together. He’s more real in a sense, where Raynerd is more bit of a character, more energetic and memorable.”
Crawford said the audience “will be laughing hysterically.”
“But it’s not just comedy, there are some poignant moments throughout the show as well,” he said.
Crawford said it’s a good chance to include live theater into a tradition for the holiday season, although he said it should be a tradition any time of year.
“Once you cut down and tree and decorate it, what is there to do besides look the snow or wish for snow?,” he said.
Martin said holidays at The Playhouse mean a reunion of patrons who come for dinner and a show. And, she said, it’s a way to give an experience instead of things to family and friends.
“Shawn and I personally as aunt and uncle, we try to give memories more than stuff to all our nieces and nephews. We want to give them experiences and memories. That’s what we encourage everyone to do,” she said. “Memories last so much longer than stuff. The stuff goes away but the memories last so much longer.”
Top photo: Jeffrey Clise, left, and Laura J. Martin star in Washington County Playhouse’s “Dashing Through the Snow.” (Photo by Crystal Schelle)