Saving Christmas – again: Pied Piper presents 'Night Before Christmas' comedy

By M. SCOTT MORRIS / NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Somehow, every year, Christmas is in jeopardy, and somebody’s got to save it.
In Pied Piper Playhouse’s “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” the Abominable Snowman wants to wreck the holiday for all the world’s good little girls and boys.
That’s something that Izzy the Mouse and Rosie the Red-nosed Reindeer can’t allow.
“We couldn’t afford the copyright for Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” said Jane Miller, director.
Written by Kathryn Schultz Miller (no relation to the director), the play starts in the home of Clement Moore. He’s the guy who wrote the world famous poem, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” which originally was titled, “A Visit from Saint Nicholas.”
“He really cares about his work,” said 9-year-old Jared Dillard, who plays Clement. “He’s writing his poem while everything else is going on in the play.”
Jared has learned “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” and he’ll deliver the poem at the end of the show, after the Abominable Snowman’s plans are thwarted.
But there’s going to be trouble for Santa Claus and everyone else before the end of the story.
“Santa gets very worried,” said Madison Nanney, 12, who plays the Jolly Ol’ Elf, “but he gets reassured by other people. They tell him Christmas will be all right.”
While Jared was learning the poem, Madison was perfecting her Santa laugh, and it’s made a big impression on the younger kids in the cast.
“I’m loved by a lot of kids,” she said after showing off her, “Ho. Ho. Ho.” “They come up to me and say, ‘Santa. Santa.’”
During the show, audiences will start at the Moore household, and they’ll travel to the North Pole to see frozen tundra, Santa’s workshop and a dungeon.
The story includes elves, reindeer and toys, and you’ll hear familiar Christmas tunes with unfamiliar lyrics. It’s a hodgepodge of holiday entertainment.
“It’s very funny,” Miller said. “We hope people will come and have a good time.”

Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.