This article was originally published by Greenville Journal on November 28, 2018.
Characters like Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, Clara from “The Nutcracker,” Ralphie from “A Christmas Story,” and Tiny Tim from “A Christmas Carol” are at the center of “Christmas on the Rocks,” but instead of their classic tales, the show portrays a hilarious comedy of what they’ve become when they have grown up and realized that life isn’t always Christmas carols and candy canes.
The Warehouse Theatre presents “Christmas on the Rocks” for the second time, as the show was a hit in its first run. The comedy centers on a dive bar where the classic Christmas characters find themselves on Christmas Eve, thinking back on their lives and consulting the bartender with their problems.
The show is directed by Chip Egan, who directed it in its first run, and it will feature all of the same actors, with one special addition.
Ronn Carroll, Broadway actor and New Yorker of almost 50 years, will be playing the role of the bartender, which he originated in the 2013 debut of the show at TheaterWorks in Hartford, Connecticut.
Like any good bartender, Carroll offers a kind word and a beverage so his patrons can drink their problems away. On an ordinary Christmas Eve, the bar brings in patrons familiar to all, who hilariously air their problems to Carroll as the show goes on.
“The creator of the evening asked the playwrights to imagine that these characters from childhood stories have grown up and that their lives have been pretty ruinous,” Carroll recalls from the creation process. “They have grown up and screwed up, and this particular evening they are kind of drowning their sorrows across the bar from this guy, lamenting the way that their lives have gone astray from their childhood beginnings.”
“I think of him [the bartender] as the spirit of Christmas,” Egan says. “These people come in and they have nothing but regrets and sorrows and difficulties in their lives, and he reminds them that it is Christmas, and this is the time of year you look on the bright side and think about your blessings. I think everybody’s ideal bartender is the guy who listens to you while you cry in your beer and helps you leave with a better attitude, and that’s what he does.”
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