Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols

Originally Conceived and Written by John Cramer
Additional Material by Katie Danner, Jes Sudbrink, and Jacob Sudbrink

Directed by Jes Sudbrink
December 4 to 20, 2015

Read the Reviews:
Waukesha Freeman, WaukeshaNOW

Click on a photo to see a larger image

Photos By Carroll Studios Of Photography

Volunteer of the Production

Cas Thiele

Sponsored In Part By

WCT projects are supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.


Sarah Albers


Aidan Bagley


Elizabeth Bagley


Isaiah Bonnet-Anderson


Makel Bonnet-Renk


Nicole Budde


Paul Burkard


Lee Conrad

Mrs. Claus

Ava Danzer


Nathan Danzer

Young Santa

Demi Dieringer


Madeline Dixon


Erica Edquist


McKinley Evenson


Shaelyn Fett

Head Elf

Glen Fink

Heat Miser

Kelly Goeller


Andrew Gratke

The Grinch

Sahil Gupta


Evan Hansen

Elf, Heat Miser Minion

Sophie Henrichs


Maddy Hyland


Laura Laberge


Bryanna Madson

Elf, Heat Miser Minion

Katie McCaskey


Maggie Mueller


Danny Muntz


Cory O'Donnell


Anna Schamens


Izzi Schneider

Dance Captain

John Sindic

Winter Warlock

Ethan Szada

Comet, Heat Miser Minion

Lili Templeman


Jim Volden

Santa Claus

Margaret Walloch

Cupid, Heat Miser Minion

Marissa Welvang


Erin Wilson-Zayaosa


Production Staff 

Director / Music Director

Jacob Sudbrink

Director / Choreographer

Jes Sudbrink

Stage Manager

Debbie Volden

Master Carpenter / Scenic Designer / Lighting Designer

Mark Brooks

Costume Designer

Darcy Devens

Sound Designer

Keith Handy

Properties Designer

Susan Schoultz

Set Decorator

Evan Crain

Wig Master

Anthony Mackie

A Christmas treat for the community

'Candy Cane' updated; message remains same
By JULIE McHALE - TimeOut Theater Critic
Dec. 10, 2015

WAUKESHA - One senses in the first few minutes that many changes have been made in Waukesha Civic Theatre's long-running traditional Christmas show "Candy Cane Tales and Holiday Carols" when the first number is about texting a merry Christmas.

This year the theater combined the new with the old as well as introduced an overriding theme - the missing Santa Claus. Old favorites still appear - the Grinch, the Heat Miser, the Winter Warlock, and Rudolph and his trusty reindeer team. On the musical side, the beautiful "Carol of the Bells" and "Winter Wonderland" are still included. But the number of changes are apparent. Nonetheless, it is a delightful show, involving almost 40 participants, many of them children.

A few of the scenes that stood out were the loving banter between Santa Claus and his spunky wife (Lee Conrad), the lovely quartet of women who sang several songs (Elizabeth Bagley, Erica Edquist, Kelly Goeller and Erin Wilson-Zayosa), and the Elvis-like solo by Young Claus (Nathan Danzer).

The group of young girls involved in the search around the world for the missing Santa was also fun to watch as they plotted out their strategy. They were an interesting mix of personalities. They managed to visit Sweden, London, Ireland, Mexico, Hawaii, Italy, Germany, Las Vegas and the North Pole in their whirlwind journey.

The imaginative costuming by Darcy Devens was a potpourri of colors, the set changes were made swiftly and smoothly under the supervision of Debbie Volden and the choreography was well-designed by Jes Sudbrink. I'm sure it is a challenge to teach dance steps and blocking to such a varied cast. The theme of less commercialism and more appreciation of our blessings and our obligation to be committed to generosity and peace was also emphasized, which is a good thing. Sometimes we all need to be reminded.

Review Title

By Reviewer Name
Posted: Month 16, 2012

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Waukesha Civic Theatre's holiday show gets wrapped up with youth

By Marilyn Jozwik - WaukeshaNOW Theater Critic
Dec. 7, 2015

Santa's MIA and it's Christmas Day. So what are children to do when they find no presents under the tree? Why, gather a search party for Santa, that's what!

This is the charming storyline threading its way through Waukesha Civic Theatre's 2015 version of "Candy Cane Tales and Holiday Carols."

The family Christmas scene that had been featured for several years has been shelved to make way for a fresh, new holiday variety show.

This show features a trimmer, leaner set and few props to get in the way of the youthful exuberance. And the grown-ups are definitely second-fiddle in this kid-friendly show.

The show opens with a group of youngsters singing and pantomiming to "Text Me Merry Christmas" with funny lines like "I'll be right here waiting for my pants to start vibrating."

It's a fun start and there's very little room for anything very somber in this show. The story really helps move it along and the girls who are searching for Santa handled their dialogue wonderfully.

The show really gets off the ground with the "At the Mall" scene, in which bratty, greedy youngsters repeat their impossible Christmas lists to Santa (where's poor Santa going to get a Pegasus?). The kids were totally unabashed in this scene, stating their lists with considerable conviction. Yet, their ungrateful attitudes really have Santa (Jim Volden) and Mrs. Claus (Lee Conrad) worried.

"The Reindeer Song" keeps up the youth movement in the show, with Katie McCaskey as Rudolph really breaking out some moves as she leads her reindeer colleagues in the fun rap number.

The kids make way for the grown-ups in the sweet, sentimental "Christmas Eve" which features Erica Edquist, Elizabeth Bagley, Kelly Goeller and Erin Wilson-Xayaosa in a beautifully rendered piece that celebrates family. The same quartet open Act II with a classy, sprightly a capella version of "Carol of the Bells."

After that, the search party journeys all over the globe to find Santa and encounters some festive tunes along the way, including "Mele' Kalikimaka," "Donde Esta Santa Claus," "Dominick the Donkey," "Christmas in Killarney" and "O Tannenbaum."

There are many delightful scenes in this show, each one a surprise in a brightly-wrapped present, such as "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," featuring eight women in feathering green outfits. Costumes are colorful, but not gaudy — thanks to costume designer Darcy Devens — and really add to the festive look. One that is especially appealing was "The North Pole Toy Shop" scene, with the elves and their big red cheeks and Christmas-colored costumes.

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" mashup again ends the show with its clever combination of holiday tunes and Toto's "Down in Africa."

Director and music director Jacob Sudbrink and director and choreographer Jes Sudbrink had the whole cast, especially the youngsters, having fun with this show on this particular night. They really bought into the whole story, with lots of expression, confidence and energy.

Musically, the show is also most pleasing. Edquist, as she did last year, lends her lovely soprano voice to her scenes and is so engaging to watch, even when in the background. Nathan Danzer's Elvis-like Young Santa singing "Call Me Claus" is also a highlight, with a gaggle of giggling girls swooning at his feet.

The work of Jes Sudbrink is evident in all delightful movements throughout the show.

The show is a fast-paced extravaganza that speeds through the night like Santa on his sleigh. If anyone can't be in a holiday mood after this show, they would have to be called a Scrooge.

Student rate is available for children and any patron with a current student ID. Senior rate applies to all patrons 60 years or older. Military rate is available for any patron with a valid current Military ID.

For our "Pay What You Can" performances, patrons can buy tickets for that show on the day of the performance at whatever price their budget will allow.

Subscriber rate is available to any subscriber for unlimited additional tickets outside their package.

10 ticket minimum per performance required.

Educational Group Rate is only available for all educational groups and Boy and Girl Scout troops. 10 ticket minimum per performance required.

Volunteer of the Production - Cas Thiele

Cas was on top of every scene change, she was very supportive of every cast and crew member, and did everything asked of her. She took care of everyone when they weren't feeling well. If anything ever went wrong she always had a solution. She is a bright light back stage. She is super kind!

Thank you, Cas!