“Beasley’s Christmas Party” at Taproot Theatre

“Beasley’s Christmas Party” which began as a Booth Tarkington short story has been beautifully adapted for the theatre by C.W. Munger. And Director Scott Nolte’s production captures all its sweet wonder.

Set in the first decade of the Twentieth Century in small town Indiana, it’s the tale of neighbors, assumptions, misunderstandings, and most of all great goodness. The Beasley of the title is a popular politician, a bachelor whose behavior has become quite strange, strange enough for most people to shake their heads in confusion and a few to see this as a chance for personal gain.

Gradually the audience learns that “strange” can sometimes mask benevolence. By the end, when Beasley throws his sumptuous, spectacular, and wondrous Christmas party, we all share in the good fellowship of the season.

The excellent cast of four (Don Brady, Aaron Lamb, Frank Lawler, and Lisa Peretti) play numerous roles. Their quick changes are both funny and terribly clever.

Like so many Christmas productions, the message here relates to kindness and good will. Unlike so many Christmas plays, this message is presented with quiet subtlety. Taproot has given us a charming production, and, if it doesn’t bring a tear to your eye . . .then look carefully into your heart.

Through December 30 at Taproot Theatre, 204 North 85th Street, Seattle, (206 781-9707 or www.taproottheatre.org). Taproot suggests that children attendees be at least 8 years old.

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