By Khalida Sarwari
In the late 19th century there was a man who risked his life to transport fir trees from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Chicago aboard a schooner. The story of the Rouse Simmons was later adapted for the stage in Chicago, and for one day this December, a group will be bringing the production to the Orchard City Banquet Hall. And the show comes with a side of dessert.
The show is The Christmas Schooner and the group staging it is the King’s Company, an all-volunteer cast and crew of men, women and children from more than six churches from Santa Clara to Hollister. The fictional story is based on actual events revolving around a Great Lakes captain who braves the deadly winter weather to bring Christmas trees to homesick German American families in turn-of-the-century Chicago.
“It’s a good family value type of a show,” said Diane Berney, an event coordinator for Community Christian, a group that sponsors the King’s Company’s productions. “It’s much like the Nutcracker; everyone goes back to it.”
The show was also presented in Morgan Hill, but this is the first time it will be staged in Campbell, Berney said.
“This is going to be a new venue for us, so we’re looking forward to doing it up there,” she said.
It is also the first time that the company is using a live piano for the music instead of pre-recorded tracks.
“Last year we didn’t have a pianist because we couldn’t find anyone to do it,” said musical director Tami Bois. “This year the experience is different because we’ve added a pianist–different in a good way.”
The musical’s audience will be served a gourmet dessert and a beverage about a half-hour prior to the show. There will be sugar-free options.
“It’s a nice kickoff to the Christmas season,” Berney said. “This cast and crew has been working very hard over the past couple of months to put this together.”
Tickets for the dessert theater are $20 per person and $144 for a table of eight. The event will begin at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8 at the Orchard City Banquet Hall, 1 W. Campbell Ave. in Campbell. Reservations are required to 408.316.0700.