The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati and Santa will bring local audiences a lot to smile about this holiday season. TCTC's production of "Santa's Toy Factory" will feature not only LOCAL 12's morning team of anchor Bob Herzog and meteorologist John Gumm as the Miser Brothers (Heat and Snow, respectively -- you might remember them from the 1970s TV special The Year Without a Santa Claus), but also, 16 year-old Eben Franckewitz fresh off American Idol starring as the show's leading character, Wendell the Elf. Eben made history last season when he was the youngest American Idol hopeful to ever make it into the top 24.
"Santa's Toy Factory" is a new holiday musical filled with fun for the whole family. The show was written and compiled by Ken Jones, is being produced by special arrangements with IO Productions, and is being directed by Children's Theatre of Cincinnati's Artistic Director, Angela Powell Walker.
"We are so excited to have Eben, Bob and John join us for this show," said Powell Walker. "What a wonderful time of year for them to spend with us and to bring so much joy to the Cincinnati community -- it's a thrill! Bob and John are going to be hilarious as the Miser Brothers, it was a natural fit for them. And you will not want to miss seeing Eben on the stage of the Taft Theatre singing, acting and dancing this wonderful holiday show!"
Bob Herzog is no stranger to The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati stage. Past roles include Captain Hook (Disney's Peter Pan JR. in the 2010-2011 season), Gaston (Disney's Beauty and the Beast JR. in the 2009-2010 season) and Genie (Disney's Aladdin JR in the 2006-2007 season.)
Santa's Toy Factory takes us on a trip to the North Pole to visit all the hard working elves readying Santa's Sleigh for his Christmas Eve journey. Poindexter, the head elf, is busy keeping everyone on task to create all the new high tech toys he thinks the children of the world want. All seems to be going well with the exception of the Holiday Spirit Meter dipping very low. Everyone must have Christmas Spirit in order for Santa's sleigh to take off. Wendell, a kind and gentle elf, is having a very hard time finding his Christmas Spirit because he doesn't want to make high-tech toys, just simple, old-fashioned ones like teddy bears. As soon as Santa hears about Wendell's dilemma, he takes him on a fantastic journey to find his Christmas Spirit. We travel with Santa and Wendell as they visit Rudolph, Blitzen, Dasher and all the other reindeer, the North Pole Penguins, the Heat and Snow Miser Brothers with all their minions and the magical Frosty the Snowman! Wendell, with Santa and everyone's help, discovers that the real Spirit of Christmas is the joy of a happy heart and the magic of a holiday wish.
Single tickets and subscriptions for the entire season are available now by calling 513-569-8080 ext. 10. Visit www.thechildrenstheatre.com for more information.
"Santa's Toy Factory," The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati, through December 15. 7:30 p.m. Friday December 7, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday December 8 & 15, 2 p.m. Sunday December 9. Taft Theatre, 317 East 5th Street in Downtown Cincinnati. Tickets $7-$25. 513-569-8080 ext. 10 and www.ticketmaster.com.
Q102 and The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati will be collecting items for St. Joseph Orphanage at all performances of "Santa's Toy Factory." Children and adults are encouraged to bring any new or unwrapped item and we'll collect them in the Taft Theatre lobby. Visit http://www.stjosephorphanage.org/ for a list of holiday requests.
"Santa's Toy Factory" is made possible by the generous support of Macy's. The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati is supported by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign. The Children's Theatre's Season Sponsors are the Charles H. Dater Foundation and the Marge and Charles J. Schott Foundation. Media sponsors are The Cincinnati Enquirer, LOCAL 12 and Time Warner Cable. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.