By Jason Schock
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, creatures were playing football in the kitchen.
Some parents – grandparents, for sure – likely came expecting a sort of classic rendition of the 18th century poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore (portayed in the musical by Joe Vrtiska) last Thursday from Director Robin Ankrom and her South School performers at the annual Falls City Public Schools’ Elementary Christmas program. Those folks were in for a bit of a shock when the curtain arose and ‘Twas One Crazy Night Before Christmas ensued.
Children nestled all snug in their beds? No, but the cousins were sleepin’ on the floor!
“On, Comet! On, Cupid, on Donner (Robert Stalder) and Blitzen!,” the famous poem reads, quoting the one and only St. Nick. “Though he spoke not a word” of three Santa Claus impersonators, nor was there even mention of the reindeer guards (Kyle Eickhoff, Roberto Angel, Bryson Butrick, Jude Chapple, Jesse Coonce and Sam Dunn) who detained a, not the, “right jolly old elf.” Rather, they nabbed just one of three guys (Jaxtyn Harvey, Christian Cracraft-Leon and Sabastian Hernandez) dressed up like him.
“Would the Real Santa Stand Up?,” the interrogator (Aiden Ebel) asked. He eventually did, played by Camron Keller.
Mrs. Ankrom and her students presented a light-hearted look at Christmas in the typical American household on Christmas Eve, with clever songs, antics and an evening of entertainment before a large Prichard Auditorium crowd on hand. The program was sponsored by FCPS and Partners In Education.
The program was intended to be a parody of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, of course, and it was fun and entertaining, with one particular exception (and the students no doubt would agree): There would be nothing funny about getting slippers for Christmas. Even once.
Songs included: “Christmas Time Is Comin’, Sleepin’ On The Floor, Slippers Again For Christmas, Something To Believe In, Touchdown In The Kitchen, Will The Real Santa Claus Please Stand Up
Other cast members included: Maelynn Elms (Mouse), Andrew Mackey and Wayde Phroper (Workers), Carly Romo (Kid 1), Vincent Strecker (Ray), Piper Sutton (Aunty June), Ira Adams (Uncle Albert), Brylee Gilkerson (Cousin Cora), Leo Moore (Cousin Cora’s Brother), Dalton Helmick (Kid 2), Lexi Brewer (Kid 3), Hannah Berger (Kid 4), Sara Gifford (Julie), Havyn Evan-Ruiz (Narrator), Courtney McClintock (Mom), Logan Barkow (Uncle Joe), Ella Heineman (Girl).
Sleepers: Cayden Dunkhas, Daly Martin, Taylor Davis, Elizabeth Boswell, Nate Craine, Aleah Hernandez, Skylar Berg, Hailey Judd, Grace Kennel, Aalexxus Haug, Alley Richard-Goodman, Cade Thompson, Silas Amanullah, Kala Waggoner, Bella Franzen, McKenna Pfohl, Grace Holys, Emma Killingsworth, Madisyn Davis and Josh Frederick.
Dancers: Makinley Scholl, Marcus Pommier, Jozie Kirkendall, Kadyn Strecker, Elizabeth Saul, Blake Rolfe, RaeAnn Thompson, Avery Vice, Kiersten Clark, McKenzie Nichols, Alexis Miller, Brookelynn Simon, Christina Gilkerson, Evan Fritz, Alexis Schroeder, Corey Murphy, Josie Riggs, Nia Crawford, Pressler Bruxellas and Taryn Coronado.
Football Players: Wyett Karpinski, Charlie McNeely, Gannon Ogden, Brandon Buchner, Jaxyn Strauss, Grayson Gibson, Kellen McAfee, Logan Coupe, Wade Wason, Zach Prater and Justin Brewer.