The usually bright and colorful Joy Theater was completely blacked out for Lightwire Theater’s performance. Grandiose Christmas music boomed through the darkness and awakened the lights with its beats.
The story told only through music, dancing, and body language was easily understood because the cast did such a fantastic job of portraying their character’s intents and emotions. The baby bird Max who was flying behind his parents in his beloved Saints helmet to go back home to New Orleans was lost in a vicious storm and landed all the way in the North Pole. His parents landed safely in the vibrant and exciting town of New Orleans, but were saddened by their baby’s disappearance and a massive search was called for over the radio to find him. They tenderly look at their family photos, including one of Max atop Drew Brees’ helmet, and make sure to leave the window open for him. A live singer appears to sing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” to illustrate their longing for Max.
Meanwhile, a band of sneaky, thieving rats in the North Pole, previously occupied by stealing presents from Santa’s Workshop, learned of the search and decided to catch Baby Bird and cage him for their leader King Rat, a cruel overlord bent on keeping Max away from his family just for fun. Max is befriended by a family of colorful dancing worms who give him a flashlight to help him see find his way home. As his light begins to lose power, the rats sneak up on him, and corner him as King Rat approaches to take him away. When it looks like hope is gone, a horn blows in the distance. Santa’s Toy Soldiers approach and a mighty battle ensues, but I can’t say if they are victorious against the horde of rodents.
A Very Electric Christmas is a fantastically executed show where neon characters are brought to life by the expert dancing of the cast. The music chosen to tell the story is not just Christmas music, but New Orleans tunes, modern music, and a few song excerpts that make for comedic relief. You can’t help but become emotionally involved in the story of this brave baby bird Max and his harrowing adventure to make it home for Christmas.
Lightwire Theater is a local theater company that uses EL lights (thin, bright light tubes) and household items and sports gear to make magical characters that can appear and disappear instantly, dance on the floor then stretch up to the rafters, and fly right before your eyes. They have performed all over, and went to the semi-final round of the show America’s Got Talent. I had a chance to sit down with co-creators Ian and Eleanor Carney to discuss their show which you can see below.