On Nov. 11, 2016, Circa ‘21 opened their 40th season. The local dinner theater has been around since 1921; the theater first was housed as a movie theater. Then in 1977 the theater was bought and remodeled into the dinner theatre as it is today. For 40 years the theater has provided the Quad-City area with over 250 productions of comedies, dramas, musicals, mysteries, and children's shows.
This year’s season starts out with “Holly Jolly Christmas” on Nov. 11. This holiday family oriented musical gets you into the holiday spirit. “Holly Jolly” has multiple storylines with heartwarming endings that brings back childhood memories of the holidays with your family.
The show opens with Christmas all over the world. Santa and Mrs. Claus take you around the world and show you how different countries celebrate Christmas. Christmas in Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Australia, featuring holiday songs from each country visited.
Next the story changes to a heart warming home for the holidays in which a father stuck in the airport who might not make it home for the holidays talks to his wife hoping to catch his flight. In the house, not even a creature was stirring except for a grandmother who waits for a family that may never arrive but as the songs progress one by one, the son, a daughter, grandchildren and mother wait for the father to arrive home for the holidays.This part of the story had me in tears and ready to have all my family home for Christmas.
Then a funny little elf takes the children from dreaming of sugarplums dancing in their heads and shows then the arrival of Santa and the toys. This part of the story showed the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” live with music that matches very well. As a child I loved reading that poem so it was like being a kid again, reading it alluded to each family member.
After the kids snuggle back in the beds for warm winter's nap, The story takes you to the nativity scene with songs we all know and love such as “Silent Night,” “Little Drummer Boy,” and “We Three Kings.”
Finally the show wraps up with 30 traditional holiday songs we all know and love and Broadway style dancing, an ending to a perfect holiday. The show itself was very good. The actors and actresses showcased the songs with amazing voices and dancing skills that were fantastic. The home holidays story line was my absolute favorite. It brought me home and ready for Christmas.
Circa ‘21 has been my home away from home for a very long time. Each time you visit the dinner theater, each person touches you and makes you a part of the Circa family. “Holly Jolly” has touched me in a way that will last a lifetime. Christmas has always been a special time for me. I have spent many Christmases at Circa and each one brings more and more memories.