“This show is perfect all the way around.” -Heidi Hodges, USA Today Network – Wisconsin

Heidi Hodges recently got a chance to see JACOB MARLEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL at TAP. Read  

highlights from her weekly column in the USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.  Photos by Heidi Hodges

Hodges: Time to get in the Christmas spirit

Hear ye! Hear ye! Residents and visitors to Door County!

You really need to get yourself down to Third Avenue Playhouse in Sturgeon Bay to see their Christmas show, “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol”.

I saw it. It’s seriously remarkable.

After attending the show this week, I was awestruck. I asked Alan Kopischke, the star of the one-man show (directed by TAP’s Bob Boles) “How on earth do you do that?”

He just laughed a little and shrugged. It is no easy feat — to carry the audience emotionally through the profound, often funny, and deeply moving show. All by himself.

I’ve seen the traditional Christmas Carol plenty of times. It’s always a treat — one that gets you in the Christmas spirit. But this new back story of Scrooge’s deceased business partner, Jacob Marley — the ghost who visits Scrooge on a fateful Christmas Eve night — is brilliant.

What’s even more brilliant is, the show was written by Tom Mula, who is well known among Peninsula Players audiences. Mula worked with Peninsula Players for 20 years, acting and directing shows at the shorefront theater near Fish Creek.

He’s one of our own.

Mula has written several other shows, some performed on the Peninsula Players stage.

His Jacob Marley show has gone on to play in major theaters across the country — to rave reviews — and has even been broadcast by National Public Radio.

And here it is. Right on the main drag in Sturgeon Bay. TAP: our own little Broadway.

Living in Door County, you get used to living with professional grade theater, as a matter of course. The talent pool in the county runs very deep. And we are used to the likes of Peninsula Players, Northern Sky Theater and Door Shakespeare. Even I’ve gotten accustomed to having friends who sing, play, write and act professionally. Like it’s no big deal.

During the past several years, TAP has emerged as a contender as some of the finest theater in the state. And it’s right here, accessible and easy.

I love an evening at TAP. Parking is a cinch, ticket prices are reasonable, and I have to drive only a few blocks home after the show.

Earlier this season, TAP also produced The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, with their Stage Kids program. A cast of kids ranging in age from 6 to 17, and a handful of adults, lifted everyone’s Christmas spirits a little higher. (Full disclosure: my 17-year-old son was in that production.)

And now, Jacob Marley. This show is perfect all the way around, from the quality of production to the hometown tie with the show’s author.

Plus, I was left with such a sweet sense of optimism and Christmas spirit.

If you are feeling a sense of “Bah humbug” this season, get to TAP. I guarantee you’ll leave a different person.

Heidi Hodges is contributing editor of Door County Magazine and a freelance photographer. Contact her at heidi@heidihodges.com.

To read the full article in the  USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin, click here.

To purchase tickets to JACOB MARLEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL (running now through Christmas Eve), call 920 743 1760 or BUY TICKETS ONLINE.