John Szablewski Previews

First Look: ‘Christmas Over The Tavern’ at MusicalFare Theatre

Tom Dudzick’s “Over The Tavern” is not only a local favorite that highlights our great city, but is one that is an international favorite as well. The characters are well known, it is nostalgic, and there is just something relatable about the “Over The Tavern” stories. This was something that Dudzick wanted to explore again, and because of this he began working on a new project with the characters that we all know and love, a musical “Christmas Over The Tavern.”

“It was a long time since Tom wrote a musical” says Randy Kramer, executive and artistic director at MusicalFare Theatre, “he came up with a new story that takes place during the holidays, and he sent it to me.”

Kramer says that Dudzick approached him some time ago to see if he would be interested in workshopping a new production at MusicalFare. “I was interested, and we had a few meetings about the show, and over the course of a year or so, Tom had a script written and a pretty good section of the score completed.”

MusicalFare did a workshop in spring of 2017 of the show. “This was a great experience for me to help create a new show, and for Tom because he was able to see how musicals worked and we gave notes to better his material,” says Kramer. “There are many things that musicals need to work, like pacing, time between songs, underscoring, these were all things that Tom got from working with us, and I think it was a great journey for him to go through.”

After the workshop, Dudzick continued the write the script. “Tom got it to a great point. It is a stand alone story that you don’t need to see the other shows to understand,” says Kramer, “there are no references to the other shows in it. I think the audiences will really enjoy it.”

Musical director Theresa Quinn is feverishly working on orchestrating the score. “Theresa is writing the orchestrations for a four piece band, taking Tom’s music and changing keys so that they would be more comfortable for the actors to sing,” says Kramer.

The cast is enjoying themselves. “There is always an excitement that an actor has when they get to originate a role,” says Kramer, “and this is a wonderful opportunity for them all.”

Tickets are selling fast. “We are completely amazed at how quickly these tickets are selling. It’s a good problem to have,” laughs Kramer. If you want to visit the Pazinski family this holiday season, you better get your tickets now!

“Christmas Over The Tavern” opens on November 14 and runs through December 16, 2018. For more information, click here.