The future is female — even all the way up at the North Pole. But Mrs. Claus has to table her plans for a girls night in with BFFs Mrs. Easter Bunny, Mrs. Cupid and the Tooth Fairy when the evil Jack Frost kidnaps Santa and threatens to ruin Christmas in "Mrs. Claus Saves Christmas" at Gaslight Melodrama.
This tale might seem familiar to longtime Gaslight fans, said artistic director Michael Prince. That's because the theater put this on as their holiday show seven years ago. Prince wrote the show with his aunt after the passing of his stepfather, and he wanted to present a show that delivered the joy of the holiday season.
"For the holiday show, you always want something that is big and full of heart and full of love. For these shows we're always trying to put across a show of unity and forgiveness."
"Mrs. Claus" is a light-hearted adventure that starts with the titular character (played by Tamara White) planning a girls' night in with pals Mrs. Easter Bunny (Lauren Nebitt), Mrs. Cupid (Ali Dougherty) and the Tooth Fairy (Victoria Tiger) now that Santa (Michael Kubik) is off to work on Christmas Eve. What she doesn't know while plotting her "me" time is that someone else is out scheming in the snow: The evil Jack Frost (Adrian Francis) kidnaps old Saint Nick in a convoluted effort to capture this interest of his special lady friend. It's up to Mrs. Claus and her friends to figure out how to save Christmas and Santa himself.
(Revealing much more of the plot — other than the show also features Chayce Perlis in dual roles as Frost's minion and Santa's No. 1 elf Bernard — spoils some of the fun, Prince said.)
For the cast and crew, the holiday show, which runs nearly daily up until Christmas Eve, can be a a theatrical marathon.
"It’s definitely more performances in about half the time. Shows are usually seven- or eight-week, sometimes nine-week runs. This is a four-week run with the same amount of shows."
All the hard work is worth it, Prince said, as companies come out for holiday parties and people bring their families and those visiting for the holiday season.
"There are lots of folks who only come to this show or this is their holiday tradition. It's such an awesome thing. That's why it's my favorite show that we put on all year."
Accompanying the show is the vaudeville revue "Miracle on 24th Street," set at 24th Street Cafe downtown when it was included along the route of the Bakersfield Christmas Parade.
"We recreate it the best we can," Prince said.
As this is a special time of year, Prince said the Gaslight family is happy to open their doors to those looking for some extra holiday fun.
"We want to offer a place where people can forget their problems, forget their worries and celebrate with family. ... It's just fun and reiterates that there is still joy and cheer and gloriousness in the world. It's not all doom and gloom."