Community cast performs Christmas tradition in Teton Valley

When young Tyson Marcum takes a seat on the new Scrooge’s knee, performed by Ted Kasper, at the end of the tenth anniversary of the collaborative efforts of Pierre’s Playhouse and the City of Victor, we all remember what it truly means to love our neighbor and fellow man.

For the tenth consecutive year, the City of Victor is sponsoring the volunteer effort at Pierre’s Playhouse, with many veteran actors and new blood taking the stage. It will also be the first time Mitch Golden takes the reins as director of the performance.

Tom Egbert, Sr., Golden’s grandfather, bought the theatre and adjacent emporium in 1964. For 44 years, the family successfully ran melodramas on the stage before switching gears toward movie screenings in 2008. Now, the annual “A Christmas Carol” is Pierre’s only testament to its live-acting roots.

“Anybody is welcome to do whatever function they’d like to during the holidays,” said Cari Golden, Egbert, Sr.’s active daughter in the Playhouse.

It was an inevitability that 28-year-old Golden carries on the legacy of his grandparents, who first purchased the theatre with five other couples. For those four decades when performance graced the tiny stage, and Tom Egbert, Sr., the epitomous master of ceremonies, would shock and entertain valley residents with an original poem drawn out and elaborated about a grandfather blowing up an outhouse, capitulating with Egbert, Sr. going into full character by removing his teeth to impersonate “grandfather.”

While this now lives in the memories of a bygone year, Golden recalls the performance clearly, having spent his first years living above the original Pierre’s Playhouse in Cave Creek, Ariz., before moving to the valley to spend his summers working in the theatre. Directing those on stage inciting his family’s style and method, Golden is at home at Pierre’s. He does not need to be in the spotlight to own the show.

Yet, it is Tom Simmons’ portrayal of Bob Cratchit that steals the show, as this character always does. He is the symbol of hope; he is the Christmas spirit, loving, empathetic and ever positive even in the face of his son’s imminent demise. Cratchit embodies the familial caring and selflessness of the holiday, from embellishing his gratitude for a meager Christmas turkey and toasting to the health of his ill-mannered manager. Simmons adds a genuineness to the role that cannot be faked.

This article appeared in the Teton Valley News on 12/5/13.