Dinner and Dickens: A taste of Victorian drama with Upper Cape
BOURNE — This December, the cafeteria at Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School will serve as a portal to Victorian Era England as drama students perform “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.
Attendees will be transported through time as guests at Fezzwig’s Party in this immersive dinner theater show.
Not only will the audience be treated to the singing, dancing and acting talents of Upper Cape, but also to those of: the carpentry and electric students, who will help with building the set; the cosmetology students, who will help with hair and makeup; and the technical students, who will be working behind the scenes.
In addition, the culinary department, led by Chef and Instructor Joseph Ellia, will serve a four-course meal to the audience of 200 people for each of the three nights the production will be performed.
On the menu is a butternut apple soup with sage cream as well as a holiday salad loaded with mixed greens, cranberries, poached pear and cheese. There will be three entree choices: beef wellington, roasted duck breast and spinach ricotta lasagna. For dessert, attendees will be served a sticky toffee pudding.
Those interested in attending can inform the kitchen of any allergies when they purchase a ticket.
The show will take place Friday, Dec. 15 and Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. as well as on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 4 p.m.
Tickets are $50 and must be purchased in advance at http://www.onthestage.tickets/. Select “Shows” from the top menu and then the drop down option “Current Production Search” to find tickets now.
English teacher Robert Genereau, who is serving as instructor for the drama program, said the show was originally going to take place in the school’s restaurant, but with how fast tickets were selling, he and Ellia realized a bigger space would be necessary.
Genereau said he was inspired to do another dinner theater show after the success of the program’s production of “Murder Café.”
He said none of the scripts he read connected with him until he imagined the ghosts of Christmas past and present leading Scrooge around the tables of diners.
Genereau said he asked Ellia to make a Christmas menu and “he absolutely knocked it out of the park.”
Genereau explained how he chose a traditional retelling of “A Christmas Carol” that called for a “very minimal set.”
“What I liked about the script is it allowed for spots to bring really traditional Christmas carols into the play, and so we have a mix of just that very classic retelling with some beautiful Christmas carols being sung by our kids,” Genereau said.
He said the program will be renting the costumes for the production.
“I wanted the kids in the costumes just to be beautiful and just really shine,” Genereau said. “We really want to tell the story through character and I think the costumes really lend to that.”
“We're super excited about the show as a whole,” he added. “It's just a really fun holiday experience.”
“I coach sports as well here, but I think this is so important because not every kid plays sports and this gives them an opportunity to do the things that they love,” he said. “For some kids, this is their reason for coming to school — whatever's going on in their lives — they know they can come here for a couple hours, have fun with their friends and be creative and artistic.”
Of the 17 students in the play, Freshman Bria Pavlisko, who plays the young sweetheart, Bell, and Shaun Miranda, who plays Bob Cratchit, come from Marion.
Pavlisko said she’s been doing theater since the third grade and plans to move to New York City in the future.
She said she is working to get her cosmetology license because she is interested in special effects and stage makeup.
However, she said she would happily accept any role that will allow her to be a part of the Broadway experience: “I'm obsessed.”
As a varsity volleyball player, Pavlisko said she had to miss the first month of rehearsals due to her game and practice schedule, so she has been working hard to catch up with the rest of the cast.
Though she was practicing her lines and songs on her own, she did not have the opportunity to interact with everyone, she said. But over the last few weeks, she added, “It was very easy to get right into things and it was very easy to adapt to everyone's rehearsing routine.”
“I'm just excited to be on stage again and to perform in front of a bunch of people,” Pavlisko said.
She added she is looking forward to seeing how it all comes together in the end.
“I'm really glad I get to be a part of it and I'm really glad that they still are letting me be a part of it even though I wasn't really participating in the beginning,” she said, adding how everyone was so welcoming when she returned from her volleyball season.
“I'm just really happy that I'm still able to be a part of it because it's a really big thing that I like that's in my life,” Pavlisko said.