Miracle on Christmas Lake
3 F, 2 M
This zany and heart-warming holiday comedy is guaranteed to pack houses! Gorgeous soap opera star Colin Avery returns to his Minnesota roots and takes over Christmas Lake Community Theater after his father dies. Colin's new wife Tess – a city girl with zero tolerance for mosquitoes – comes along for the ride only to find the theater on the verge of bankruptcy. After losing the rights to It’s a Wonderful Life and his entire cast due to a freak snow storm, Colin races to come up with another play. With piano tuner and Little House on the Prairie fanatic, Neil Gunderson, and lizard-loving massage therapist, Martha Knutson, as the only cast members, hilarity ensues as this unlikely bunch scramble to save the theater.
When his attempt at creating an original play fails miserably, Colin decides to stage an episode of his soap opera As Time Ticks By to appeal to the theater's chief benefactor, Mrs. Burlington, a big fan of Colin and the show. Not to be swayed, Mrs. Burlington convinces Colin to cast her in the show and runs off to find the perfect dress. Meanwhile, Martha's pet lizard goes missing and she comforts herself by eat too much Tater Tot Hotish, Neil prepares for the iconic role of Victor of Icon of Icon Enterprises by shoving a piece of onion in his nose and painting on a mustache with permanent marker. Tess is forced to endure a sexy maid outfit and cannot nail down her Colombian accent, and Mrs. Burlington arrives in a gaudy dress flaunting a giant hairy mole the size of Canada.
The "curtain" rises on the fictional soap opera town of Sunrise Valley and more chaos ensues including, but not limited to: sperm switching, infidelity, a lost contact, forgotten lines, evil twins (one of whom is buried alive), a free-running lizard, lights going out, a bloody nose and Neil ripping off his shirt to reveal a less-than-trim physique. The show falls apart and Tess attempts to save it by grabbing her guitar and singing an acoustic version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by candlelight.
There’s true love and off-key Christmas carols, lutefisk and naked pot bellies, and best of all, unexpected miracles happen. A holiday comedy guaranteed to tickle the funny bone of lutefisk-eating Minnesotans everywhere!
Jessica Lind Peterson hailed a Minne-snow-ta Christmas send-up master by Mpls. St. Paul Magazine!
“The ensuing loony antics make the Guthrie’s staging of “Noises Off” look like “Death of a Salesman.”… Peterson’s script has the rat-a-tat rhythms of a classic sitcom. There are enough sight gags and on-stage reaction shots to re-buckle the Borscht Belt…undeniably skilled art…the incontinence-inducing laughter was unlike anything I’ve heard inside a theater in recent memory.”– Dominic Papatola, St. Paul Pioneer Press
”Several audience members were visibly wiping tears of laughter…The holiday play's conclusion resonates even more joyfully now than at its premiere!” Jay Gabler, City Pages
“A madcap holiday farce! – Twin Cities Daily Planet
“The brilliance of [Miracle on Christmas Lake] lies in just how well it plays to its audience….from the belly laughs coming from the crowd, we could tell that playwright Jessica Lind Peterson knows her target audience…Peterson’s characters charmed the pants off her audience, many of whom had to wipe away tears of laughter.” – Aisle Say Twin Cities
“Funny, silly & entertaining!...This wacky, sweet, ridiculous little play is chock full of Minnesota references and ridiculous humor! ”— Cherry and Spoon
"Audiences lapped up Miracle on Christmas Lake!" – Minneapolis Star Tribune
Actors Theater of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 2019
Yellow Tree Theatre, Osseo, Minnesota 2008, 2009, 2012, 2018 (World Premiere)
Actors Theater of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, 2017
Behling & Company, La Crosse, WI, 2018