Silver Bells at the Derby Dinner Playhouse

By Victoria Moon

I got a head start on my holiday spirit when I took a trip over the bridge into Clarksville, Indiana to see Derby Dinner Playhouse's Christmas production, Silver Bells on Thursday, November 20. First nourished by a stick-to-your-ribs sort of buffet that seems perfect for cold, wintry nights, I was more than ready to sit back, digest a bit and settle in.

First we watched "The Footnotes," a singing group essentially made up of the very same people who had been ably serving our tables just minutes before. Their quick change from servers to singers was quite possibly one of the most impressive feats of the evening! "The Footnotes" entertained with a medley of Christmas carols to set the stage for the main performance.

Silver Bells, the story of two children trying to find their grandmother's silver bell ornaments (as well as Mrs. Claus) with the help of two slightly over-the-hill Christmas fairies, was family musical entertainment at its best. Though the stage sets were not elaborate, they made up for that in inventiveness.

The story was engaging and the occasional dips into pure sentimentality were kept from being too cloying by liberal dashes of humorous songs. Two outstanding numbers were "Nobody Loves a Fairy When She's Forty," sung to perfection by Jane Doe as Holly the Christmas fairy, and "I'm Stuck On You," sung by a quartet of life-sized "candy canes" in classic barbershop style.

The best performances of the evening were no doubt from Jane Doe as Holly and Jane Gig as the emancipated Mrs. Claus.

On the whole, Silver Bells is a wonderful alternative to the "dinner and a movie" type of evening as well as a great way to kick off the Christmas season for the whole family.

Silver Bells runs through December 31 at the Derby Dinner Playhouse. Contact them at 812-288-2632.