The Pinecone Players’ annual Christmas pageant, directed by former beauty queen Carol Claus, is threatened when the entire cast, fed up with Carol’s “hack directing,” quits an hour before show time. Carol realizes she’ll have to do the whole show herself. Too bad she only knows her own number. In a frantic act of desperation, Carol decides to audition whomever she can find to replace her cast and get the show up in time. In 60 chaotic minutes, meet the strangely wonderful people who show up at the brink of impending disaster to save Carol from ruin. Add to the mix a little Christmas music, a biker Grandma, a disgruntled Fire Marshal, and a mysterious gentleman who has Carol reflect on her (not so merry) future, and you’ve got a comedy of errors that is nuttier than a fruitcake!
It’s an hour before the curtain rises on The Pinecone Players' annual community Christmas pageant. The stage is black, when twinkle lights appear in the formation of a Christmas tree. We hear Carol asking Timmy in the darkness if “it” needs more lights. Timmy says, “Maybe a few more on top.” The lights come up on Carol and Timmy. Carol is wearing a hoop-style skirt adorned with twinkle lights. Timmy stands next to her on a step ladder wrapping lights around Carol’s beehive. This is Carol’s outfit for the show’s finale, as she boasts to Timmy— whose names she continually forgets— about her wizardly magic as a director.
Uh-oh! Carol’s not the only one who is forgetful. Timmy reveals to Carol that her entire cast quit the night before after dress rehearsal because they found her to be a ‘hack’ director. Even the donkey in the nativity scene quit!
Carol is livid as she is panicked and sends Timmy out into the streets to find people to audition for the show. Meanwhile, two strapping young men named Ricky and Mickey wander onstage. They’re here for the party! Carol inquires, “What party?” The guys tell Carol they have friends in the show who are throwing a big bash after quitting on their ‘hack’ director. Mickey rereads the text message on his iPhone. Ooops! That was last night. A twinkle light goes off in Carol’s beehive! She asks Mickey and Ricky if they can dance. They rip off their shirts and perform a Chippendale’s style dance number. They’re in! Only, Carol reminds them that this is a family show, and hands them two gingerbread men costumes to change into.
Timmy returns with Jack and Jill, two hikers who were outside filling their water bottles. Carol casts them as Mary and Joseph, and then has Timmy show them to the dressing rooms. Alone onstage, Carol pours out her frustrations to a Snowman set-piece (an actor) that she calls "Frosty." The Snowman consoles Carol, before calling her a hack director. Timmy enters, as Carol threatens to lug the Snowman down to the furnace. When Timmy asks Carol who she is talking to, she says the Snowman, only the Snowman appears frozen. Carol’s beginning to think she’s losing her mind. Timmy chimes in, “You’re JUST beginning to think that?” The two of them exchange words. Timmy quits the show and is heading to the North Pole in his super-hero costume to tell Santa Claus how despicable Carol is. Carol looks directly at the audience, “And I thought I had a vivid imagination?”
Suddenly, an older gentleman steps up from the audience and onto the stage. His name is The Boss, and bears uncanny resemblance to Boss Hogg from the iconic TV show Dukes of Hazard. The Boss has Carol reflect on her Christmas past, present, and future. Carol’s past was great, but the present and future appear bleak. Carol has no time for this. She begs The Boss to play Santa. No such luck. The Boss no sooner leaves, when Carol hears a roaring motorcycle. Moments later, Carol’s Harley-driving, whiskey-drinking Grandma stumbles on stage. She’s brought Carol her annual gift: a fruitcake. Carol hates fruitcakes! Carol tells Grandma the pinch she’s in. Grandma does a dance routine with Mickey, Ricky, Jack, and Jill (“If The World Is Your Stage”). Grandma throws her back out. Carol asks if there’s a doctor in the house. The Doctor comes up from the audience to check Grandma out. A smitten Grandma checks him out, and they leave together.
It’s crunch time for Carol, who needs to cast the role of Santa Claus. She calls three people up from the audience to audition. Two of them are actors: an androgynous woman named Bert, and a short, stocky man named Ernie. The third person is an actual audience member. They each sing a verse of “Jingle Bells.” Then, Carol has the audience vote, but the process is interrupted when the Fire Marshal makes a surprise visit. He finds several fire code violations. Carol and the Fire Marshal sing a parody of “We Three Kings.” After the number, the Fire Marshal makes a decision to shut down the theatre. Carol needs a miracle— not to mention a Santa Claus AND Snow! The Fire Marshal says if she can produce either one of those phenomena, he’ll overlook the violations. Suddenly, it not only begins to snow, but Timmy returns from the North Pole with Santa Claus. Timmy has helped save Carol’s show. Carol apologizes to Timmy after finally learning the joy of Christmas past, the promise of Christmas present, and the hope of Christmas future. Carol, Santa, and the rest of the cast sing “Jingle Bells” along with the audience.
Fast-paced and witty, a high-octane holiday confection.
Carol Claus – 30s. Former beauty queen/director. Her motto in life? "It's all about me!"
Timmy – 20s, scatter-brain. Carol's stage manager. Has a fascination of being a superhero.
Ricky – 20s, good-looking. Carol's backup dancer/Gingerbread Boy.
Mickey – 20s, good-looking. Ricky's buddy. Carol's backup dancer/Gingerbread Boy
Jack – 20s, svelte. Hiker who stumbles upon the Pinecone Theatre.
Jill – 20s, perky and cute. Jack's girlfriend. Ditsy.
Snowman – Any age. Believed to be a prop, but is a real person in costume.
The Boss – Think "Boss Hogg" from "Dukes of Hazzard."
Grandma – Feisty, Harley-driving "Granny" who moves like a person half her age.
The Doctor – Handsome actor who is planted in the audience and brought on-stage.
Ernie – Shorty, stocky man. A "plant" in the audience who auditions for Santa.
Bert – Frumpy woman who auditions for Santa. Her real name is Bertha.
Fire Marshal – No nonsense Fire Marshal who threatens to shut the theatre down.
Santa Claus – Eternal. Saves the "play" at the last minute, along with Timmy.
Setting: 60 Minutes before Curtain at the Pinecone Players Community Theatre
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Director's Script – Single-sided script with space for director’s notes.