Holiday cheer coming virtually on Dec. 21 courtesy of the Gift Theatre
by BRIAN NADIG
The Gift Theatre in Jefferson Park will be hosting a virtual “Holiday Spectacular” at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, that will feature fireside chats, raffle prizes, musical guests and a few surprises.
“We are really excited about it,” Gift managing director John Gawlik said. “It’s sort of a do-it-yourself holiday spectacular.” The date for the show was chosen because Dec. 21 is Winter Solstice, and the Gift was hoping to bring some holiday cheer to residents on the longest night of the year, he added.
Viewers are encouraged to order carryout from their favorite local restaurant and watch the hourlong performance from the comfort of their home, while Gift co-founder Michael Patrick Thornton (who worked as a Nadig Newspapers’ carrier while growing up in the area) hosts the event from a fireplace setting inside the 40-seat theater at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., Gawlik said. There will be taped and live video feed from off-site locations mixed in during the show.
The event also will include brief video clips which the Gift is collecting for local residents and merchants.
The show is free to viewers but donations will be accepted, and raffle tickets are available for $20 each or three for $50. The prizes, including authentic Gift Theatre seats and a chocolate masterpiece by Gift ensemble member Jennifer Glasse, will be delivered to the winners by “Archie The Singing Elf accompanied by Lorraine The Accordion Elf”ahead of time, and the delivery will be taped for the show.
Show (free) and raffle tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com by searching “The Gift’s Holiday Spectacular.” Donations also can be made online.
Tentative plans call for the theater to reopen its doors for live performances in October. “We feel good where we are at” despite all of the challenges facing the the theater industry during the pandemic, Gawlik said. “We hope to be performing on the stage next fall.”
More information on the theater and its upcoming 10-part “Pandemic Radio Network” is available at www.thegifttheatre.org