With so many holiday shows this time of year, how do you choose the one that’s right for your family? My family was lucky enough to check out a preview of Encore Theatrical Arts Project’s production of Christmas Undercover, a Broadway-style holiday musical.
Christmas Undercover follows the adventures of some of Santa’s elves as they get ready for Christmas. Instead of being at the North Pole making toys, they’re undercover in New York City, checking for Christmas spirit to help Santa make his list. Of course, things don’t always go as planned. One elf, Cookie, keeps having her cover blown, and another, Marzipan, can’t get her spirit scanner to work quite right. By the second act they’re at the North Pole, figuring out a way to save Christmas.
Mixed in with the story are 17 dance numbers featuring the students from the Encore Theatrical Arts Project. They’re quite good and my daughter was dancing along with them in her seat. There’s a nice mix of familiar tunes and original songs that will keep everyone entertained.
My 7 year old daughter absolutely loved the show. She takes dance classes and was in awe of the dance numbers, especially the tap dances. More than once she leaned over to me to tell me that she was learning how to do that same step in her classes. She also particularly liked a number where the letters from Santa’s manual come to life and dance. And, of course, all of the children in the audience were excited to see Santa!
Christmas Undercover is nice departure from the typical showings of The Nutcracker. The music is all upbeat and the acting (instead of just dance) makes it easier for young children to follow. When you add in the beautiful sets and fun costumes, Christmas Undercover is a wonderful holiday treat for families.
The show is just over two hours long plus a 15 minute intermission. While the musical will appeal to kids of all ages, the length of the show makes it best for kids ages 5 and up.
Encore Theatrical Arts Project also offers a special program for Girl Scout troops that includes a behind the scenes tour, a meet & greet with the cast, pre-seating in the theater, intermission snack, and discounted tickets. Commemorative patches are also available. This would be such a fun holiday activity – I’m already hoping my daughter’s troop can do this next year!
Christmas Undercover takes place at the Richard J. Ernst Theater at the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Shows are December 9 to 11 and December 16 to 18, 2016 with multiple shows each day. Tickets are $19 to $26 each and are available online, by phone, or at the theater. If you’re an Our Kids reader save a little cash and use promo code OKCU16 to take $2 off tickets.
What are you waiting for? Add Christmas Undercover to your holiday to-do list and spend quality time with your family while enjoying this Broadway-quality production!