By SCOTT VIAU
CALUMET - With the holiday season among us, those looking for a feel-good Christmas story will soon have to look no further than The Calumet Theatre. "The Christmas Bus" starts Thursday with an additional performance on Sunday, Dec. 8.
"The Christmas Bus," a musical, tells the story of Mrs. Frump, an orphanage director who wants to give 12 orphans a good Christmas and lines up families in the county who would be willing to take them in. But as a foil, there is a group of mean old ladies who stick their noses in everyone's business and try to stop Frump's plan from coming to fruition.
"It's a Christmas story," Director Dave Heinz said. "It will put you in the Christmas spirit."
Heinz said he picked the play because after he read it it got stuck in his brain. The kids also wanted to do a musical.
"I said to the kids, if you think you can pull this off, let's do it," Heinz said. "It all kind of came together. The kids wanted a musical and I found a really good one."
Last year a Halloween-themed show was done around this time of year just as a break from Christmas stuff. But this year it was decided to stick to tradition and do a Christmas show.
"We went back to Christmas because that's what the senior class always does," Heinz said. "I was also looking for that feel good, happy story. We needed that. It feels like things have been really rough up here all around for everybody. The economy and things happening in life. It was like, alright, we need some positive ju-ju."
Heinz said he is hoping people will take away a positive, giving Christmas spirit from the show.
Playing the role of Mrs. Frump is 17-year-old Calumet High School senior Meg Raasakka. She said her character is a very nice lady but faces trouble from a couple of characters that want her to retire from the orphanage.
"She wants to make Christmas special for the kids that she has there now," she said.
Drama has been an important part of Raasakka's life for quite some time so she didn't pass up the opportunity to audition and participate in the play.
Raasakka said she has really been enjoying the fact that "The Christmas Bus" is a musical.
"It's gutsy," she said. "It'll be interesting."
Troy Kangas plays one of the orphans running around and wreaking havoc.
"When we learn about Frump's plan of putting us with different families for Christmas most of the orphans aren't too happy, but they decide to do it for her."
Kangas didn't always have time for drama, what with his commitment to athletics, but so far he's had a lot fun participating in "The Christmas Bus."
"It feels like coming back to what I left off doing," he said.
Tickets for "The Christmas Bus" are available now and will cost $6 for adults.