Mellow Circle’s annual Christmas musical, Welcome to Bethlehem, features a heartwarming story of hope
The spirit of Christmas is alive and not just trees, cakes and carols but festive musicals and plays are also in order. Mellow Circle, the city-based organisation, is set to stage their annual Christmas play—Welcome to Bethlehem, starting today.
“Mellow Circle is probably India’s only community that has kept up with its tradition of conducting Christmas plays for the past 19 years,” says veteran thespian Michael Muthu (of Boardwalkers), who is the director of the musical.
A story set in modern day America, the play takes place at Bethlehem Inn, a motel located at a hill station in Pennsylvania. Owned by Mr Wiseman and wife, the place has been in existence for several decades and it’s a tradition for people who live nearby to go there to celebrate Christmas. Since the occupancy during the rest of the year is poor, the revenue from the holiday season is not enough to sustain the place. The news of their financial troubles and the possible closure of the inn breaks unexpectedly, leaving the staff worried. However, an incident that takes place during the festivities unravels the whole situation, finally leading to a family reunion.
“From a couple struggling financially to keep their hotel running to a teenage runaway girl who’s helpless, the characters in the story face difficult circumstances in life. The whole story revolves around an incident which resolves all the problems,” says Mike, who adds that the group has been rehearsing for the past two months. Lasting one hour and 20 minutes, the musical consists of 12 songs. Lead by city-based musician Roshni Sharon, the Mellow Circle Choir, a 44-people strong choir group, will perform live on stage as part of the play. The 12-member cast of the play also includes theatre artistes like Sangeetha Santhosham and Thomas Philip, who have been part of Mellow Circle plays in the past.
“For the set, we have created a makeshift hotel lobby, which is where most of the play takes place. The characters will be seen in modern-day costumes since the play is set in contemporary America,” says Mike, who has been directing Mellow Circle’s annual Christmas plays for the past 17 years. The 19-year-old organisation, annually showcases two mjor productions (the Christmas musical being their biggest) to raise funds to run Prathyasha-Home of Hope, a home for HIV AIDS-affected children.
Tickets from `300 onwards. November 30 and December 1-2.
At Museum Theatre.