Christmas On Stage

holiday theater and music show comes to the Heyde Center

Anna Field

At Christmas is a family fueled comedy and drama written and performed by alumni of A Brave New Workshop, combined with a live 5 piece band.
At Christmas is a family fueled comedy and drama written and performed by alumni of A Brave New Workshop, combined with a live 5 piece band.

At Christmas is family friendly Minneapolis based production that’s coming to the Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls on December 7th at 7:30pm.

The show itself is a family fueled comedy and drama written and performed by alumni of A Brave New Workshop, combined with a live 5 piece band featuring a Twin Cities’ favorite Mick Sterling. The show is also directed by A Brave New Workshop’s musical director, Peter Guertin. At Christmas is wonderfully simple and minimal. The stories and music that resonate with the audience of all ages are a reflection of what holidays are for families- funny, poignant, and heart-warmingly tender.

“(It’s) a very intimate, funny and surprisingly tender and sometimes very personal interpretation of what happens during this time of year.”
– Mick Stirling, At Christmas

Mick Sterling, a musician whose career has spanned over 30 years and has become highly recognizable in the Twin Cities music scene, fronts as the lead singer of the band in At Christmas. The idea for the show originated from a Christmas album Sterling made a few years ago called Blessed - Songs for Christmas Time. Instead of just putting together a CD release party, Sterling thought it would be more entertaining to put together a theatrical production that performed the CD along with pieces that feature humorous and heartfelt stories that happen during Christmas to many families. This is the fourth year that At Christmas has gone on stage, and Sterling says “people have been pleasantly surprised by what they see.”  He insists At Christmas is nothing like other Christmas shows that are all about being flashy and featuring Santa. He says of the show that it’s “a very intimate, funny, and surprisingly tender and sometimes very personal interpretation of what happens during this time of year.”

The music in the show consists of a 5 piece band that treats traditional Christmas songs and original pieces in an Americana direction with some blues and folk incorporated also that touches its audience. The majority of the songs are traditional Christmas songs, but there are also original songs performed by the band. Sterling says “all of the songs performed are unique treatments, but not so unique that you have no idea what you’re listening to.” An example he gives is their rendition of Ave Maria, a song usually played in a grand scale but in At Christmas is played on acoustic guitar.

The story line of the show revolves around a family from the Midwest, but Sterling says of the show that “the themes, both comedic and dramatic are consistent in all families, no matter where they’re from.” Sterling says he wants the audience to feel like they’ve just seen a holiday show, but one that is unique and made them laugh hard and feel surprisingly touched. Musically he hopes the audience has new favorites to listen to each year and that At Christmas can become a tradition for families to see every holiday season.

At Christmas will be at the Heyde Center in Chippewa Falls on Dec. 7 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and $8 for youth. For more information, visit CVCA.net.