Kai and the Snow Queen
The murderous innkeeper (Chris Hauck, right) has a confrontation with St. Nicholas (Brad Austin). Photo by Ralph Stewart

Heroic St. Nick

Posted December 21, 2006

If you wish to catch a glimpse of St. Nicholas this season, the Katharine Cornell Theatre is the place to go this week. "Miracles of Christmas," three twelfth-century plays about St. Nicholas, will preview Friday, Dec. 22, and Saturday, Dec. 23, at 7 pm, and be performed the following week.

A more gallant and interesting character than the modern day Santa Claus, the plays show St. Nick as hero to those in need.

In the first medieval play, he provides dowries for two young women who face a threat worse than death. In the second play he prevents a robbery, and then brings a murdered child back to life in the third.

A Christmas production would not be complete without a proper soundtrack, and these plays are brought to life with medieval carols played on recorders and a cello.

"Medieval carols are some of the most beautiful music ever written," according to Connie McCreery, who is a member of the board of directors for the Island Theater Workshop.

E. St. John Villard directs the plays, with Stephanie Burke as music director. Brad Austin plays St. Nicholas, Kevin Ryan plays the robbed man in the second play, Chris Hauck plays a murderer, and Anna Convery plays his wife in the third play. u

"Miracles of Christmas," Previews: Friday and Saturday, Dec. 22, 23, 7 pm. Performances: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Dec. 28, 29, 30, 7 pm. Katharine Cornell Theatre, Spring St., Vineyard Haven. Preview admission is $5 or $15 for families. Performance admission is $10 or $25 for families. For reservations or information, call 508-627-2529.