Major Christmas theater production coming to Jacó

The location may be really, really off Broadway, but Jacó is getting a professional theater and a venue to match.

The site is the new Oceans Center that will host “A Christmas Carol,” the uplifting musical by Michael Sgouros and Brenda Bell Dec. 20 to 30. The group Teatro Jacó said the hour-long performance will feature both the New York City award winning cast as well as approximately 16 Costa Rican musicians and actors who will make their professional stage debut.

The original musical score contains traditional Christmas carols sung in Spanish with a robust percussion ensemble composed of marimba, vibes, tympani, bells and chimes which brings the score to life, said an announcement.

Teatro Jaco  was founded by Darren Lee Cole, co-owner of the SoHo Playhouse in New York City and producer of hundreds of theatrical productions worldwide, said the group.

He also is involved in business in Jacó.

Musical workshops will be conducted Oct. 24 and 25 at local schools by Sgouros, the composer, Ms. Bell, who wrote the book and lyrics, and Cole, the director, to prepare young actors for their auditions, and answer questions about commitment to become part of a professional cast, the announcement said. Auditions will be conducted at Oceans Center in Jacó Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Oct. 27 from  10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Actors should prepare a short song, preferably a favorite Christmas carol to perform, the announcement said..

Rehearsals begin Oct. 28 via live web cam to unite the New York cast with the Jaco cast, it added.

This production is a joint partnership with Teatro Jaco and Patrick Hundley of DayStar Properties whose mission is to “ Bring the world of entertainment to Jaco” while inspiring local talent through funding arts programming and educational workshops for the central Pacific region, said the announcement.

The production is described as a lively musical adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens tale with Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, the Christmas ghosts and others. This is typical holiday fare in New York, but what makes the Jacó event possible is DayStar’s Ocean Center, a multipurpose entertainment, corporate meetings and private event facility which includes the 150-seat theater.

Teatro Jacó said it gave its initial show, “Jamaica Farewell,” at its temporary home, Canciones del Mar. The theater organization said it seeks to accomplish three primary programs: the establishment of local school performing arts classes, the formation of a community theatre group and the creation of special internships matching local students with international artists. And it plans to host top-level theater.

“Our connection to theaters worldwide gives us a unique opportunity to bring internationally renowned artists to the Central Pacific who will create an enriching cultural arts experience for both tourists and Costa Rican audiences,” Teatro Jacó says on its Web page.

Sgouros is an accomplished performer and owner of The Players Theater in New York. Ms. Bell is the co-owner of the Showboat Dinner Theatre in Clearwater, Florida, and has a number of theater writing credits.

DayStar Properties is a major developer of luxury vacation condominiums in the area.

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