It’s a whole new world this year in Commedia Beauregard’s A Klingon Christmas Carol, which opens this Saturday at Edgewater’s Raven Theatre. After doing essentially the same show for the last 7 years, creator Christopher Kidder-Mostrom decided it was ripe for reinvention. And reinvent they did, with new “Steampunk Klingon” costumes, a gritty new multi-level set, new weapons, new soundscape, new cast, and even a new Scrooge with Clark Bender stepping into the cowardly boots of SQuja’!
Bender is one of the few returning cast members this year, all of whom are in new roles as no actors were allowed to return to the same parts. Everyone will be in brand-new costumes, designed by kClare Kemock to be a mash-up of Klingon garb and the frock coats of Victorian England, and on Ian Mostrom’s exciting new multi-level set with the industrial feel of a roughed-up space outpost. With the transformation complete, Commedia Beauregard is ready to unveil its new Carol at tonight’s “Twitter Preview” (where the audience is allowed to live-tweet the show), and then at their opening night tomorrow!
If you haven’t heard, A Klingon Christmas Carol is the hilarious and surprisingly heart-warming translation of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale into the language and culture of Star Trek’s famous warrior aliens, the Klingons.
A Klingon Christmas Carol is indeed the first full-length play ever to be produced entirely in the Klingon language. Yes, there is a real, actual, honest-to-god Klingon language. It was invented by renowned linguist Marc Okrand (a big fan of the show) at the behest of Paramount Pictures during the production of Star Trek III. (See him explain the process in the videos below!)
So how do Klingons celebrate Christmas? Well, they don’t. Klingons can’t celebrate the birth of the son of god because they don’t have any gods. Because they killed them. Long story short, the equivalent is the Feast of the Long Night, a kind of winter solstice that’s big on the Klingon home planet, Kronos.
And it’s on Kronos that we find SQuja’, counting his money and berating his employee QachIt. He is the worst kind of man in the Klingon culture: a coward with no honor. But when the ghost of his business partner marlI’ attacks to warn him of the eternal torment that awaits him, he is given a chance at redemption. Three spirits will visit SQuja’ to convince him to regain his honor and become a proper Klingon warrior… but will he see the light in time to save QachIt’s weak son, tiny tImHom, from certain death?
It is a tale full of fierce combat, time travel, and guttural snarls, all drolly narrated by a Vulcan representative from the Vulcan Institute of Cultural Anthropology.
Don’t speak Klingon? Don’t worry, there are English supertitles projected above the stage.
Nov 30 through Dec 29, 2013.
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:00pm; Sundays at 3:30pm.
Additional late-night Saturday performances on Dec 14, 21, and 28 at 10:30pm.
Special “Pay With Your Can” performance on Monday, Dec 2 at 8:00pm.
Raven Theatre Complex
6157 N Clark St (at Granville Ave), Chicago, IL 60660.
$20-30 tickets are available at 773.338.2177 or CBTheatre.org. Only 57 tickets are available for each performance and most will sell out, so early reservations are encouraged!