The holiday show at the Thames Valley Music School at Connecticut College in New London is the operetta, "Amahl and the Night Visitor". The 3 Kings on their way to Bethlehem stop to rest at the home of Amahl, a crippled boy, and his mother. Though they are very poor, they offer the kings, hospitality, shelter and entertainment from their shepherd friends. Late that night, Amahl's mother is caught trying to steal some of the Kings' gold, but when she explains that it is for her starving child, she is forgiven. Amahl offers his crutch as a special gift to the baby Jesus and is miraculously cured of his lameness. Director Gary Sullivan adds humor to this Christmas tale and gives it a beautiful and moving rendition from start to finish.
Gary directs and blocks the 6 leads, the 17 chorus members and the 6 dancers in this show wonderfully. He shows the strong relationship between mother and son.The kings and the shepherds enter from the back of the theatre for their scenes on stage, making use of the whole playing area. Choreography is by Desiree Subotic who gives the dancers some balletic movements to keep the crowd entertained. Gary also costumed and gathered props for the show as well as assisted in building the set. The orchestra and cast are conducted by Dr. John Dreslin who gets some lovely music out of everyone. Miguel Gaspar Benitez is the 8th grade boy who plays Amahl. His strong boy soprano voice soars when he sings his part in this operetta and his acting is as fantastic as his singing. The other leads do a great job acting their roles and they have superior voices, too. Monica Krajewska who is a mezzo soprano plays the role of his mother while bass-baritone, Frank Ward plays Balthazar, baritone Daniel Kamalic plays Melchior and tenor Richard Schumacher plays the comicallly deaf, Kaspar, getting a multitude of laughter while doing so. The page who gets to wrestle with the mother and gets hit with Amahl's crutch is Tomas Ford. The solos, duets, trios and all the numbers are gorgeously performed. I highly recommend that "Amahl" is a very good show to usher in the Christmas season. It only runs three performance, so be sure to catch it before the run ends. (Jurate Svedaite-Waller plays the mother at the Saturday matinee.) Bravo to everyone who made this a successful show.