"The Little Match Girl"

(12-02-2010)

A Review by Linda Relyea

There are a variety of ways to get into the holiday spirit - shopping sprees at 3 a.m.; hanging lights in below freezing temperatures; mixing cookie dough until your bursitis acts up; sending holiday cards to people you haven't seen or spoken to in decades; or you can relax in a comfy environment and let your spirit dance along in the magical sphere created by the Adams State College Theatre Production, "The Little Match Girl".

Yes, we all know the ending, but this play takes the audience along a delightful path of imagination and childhood fantasies. It is as though we are watching the scene of a colorful snow globe play out in front of our eyes traveling along in the whimsical dreams of a little girl who, rather than follow a path of well-deserving self-pity, wishes for a world of light and shared love.

For me, the holiday season is a mixture of joy and trial, it is a time of great expectation and often reality falls short. However, in this production, the pure soul of the little girl, barefoot in the snow, releases the duress of her circumstances by striking flames of hope and inspiration. Bethany Hernandez, the little match girl, expresses innocent and faith through her every look and move. Her compelling smile and gestures welcome us all to rise above our circumstances and discover a current of fellowship and laughter.

As always, Dr. Paul Newman, "The Little Match Girl" director, expresses his remarkable inner vision - artistically creating sets reflecting the mood and atmosphere of every scene. The actors of this large cast play multiple characters with poise and grace. When the dream ends and true existence returns, we are left with a fleeting sense of loss and sadness that quickly abates as the memory of the little match girl's courageous and admirable sense of wonder follows us home.

The running time of "The Little Match Girl" is approximately an hour and a half, including intermission. The choreography by Aubrey Lucero expresses the poetic insight of Newman's directing. I anticipate my seven-year-old son's, Joshua, reaction to play on Sunday; I believe he will appreciate the enchantment.

A limited number of tickets are still available. Show times are 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, December 10 and 11; and 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday, December 11 and 12. Tickets can be reserved in person, at the box office, or by calling 719-587-TIXX. Tickets are $10 for general public, $8 for seniors and students, $6 for children 12 and under, and free to Associated Students and Faculty.

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