of the Christmas Opera
A motley collection of hopeful actors is assembling to audition and rehearse the Christmas prouctions, "Don't Wait for an Angel" at the Angel Theatre. Gus, the theatre janitor, is full of memories of the past and regales them with tales of plays and acts performed in the old theatre, on this same site, long since burned to the ground. He nostalgically remembers the plush velvet seats, the gold leaf and especially the ghost of the Roman Centurion. The scene flashes back to the traditional Christmas pageant as if had been performed in the old theatre - it was always a great event, Gus tells us.Then the auditions and rehearsals for the new productions begin in earnest - it is a modern nativity - loosely tied to the original story - so Peggy the director informs us. It is just as well because the cast presents as a pretty rough crew - especially when first asked to learn the theme song "Don't Wait for an Angel" As the rehearsals progress, a number of mysterious happenings lead us to perhaps believe in old Gus's ghost story. Who really tidied the costume room? Who moved the keys? How did the rehearsal copy reappear? Which angel finally delivers the money that saves the production? To add to the confusion of rehearsals, a frazzled teacher and her inquisitive class visit the theatre. The actors struggle on towards opening night but not without the director yealling at one stage, "Will we open in a week?"
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