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Bernice Lundstrom, played by Connie Olson, from left, Clara Johnson, played by Charlie Olson, and Sven Yorgenson, played by Brent Roelofs, sing and dance in a scene from "A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol" at The Barn Theatre in Willmar. (Tribune photo by Bill Zimmer)

Christmas musical opens tonight at The Barn

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news Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
(320) 235-6769 customer support
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

The Barn Theatre presents "A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol" at 7:30 p.m. tonight through Saturday, and Dec. 11-13 and 18-20. There will be 2:30 p.m. matinee performances this Sunday and Dec. 14 and 21.

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The show is billed as a hilarious spoof of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and is a sequel to the award-winning musical "Don't Hug Me" which is set in Bunyan Bay, Minn.

Gunner Johnson, played by Tim Ostby, is a cantankerous bar owner who gets in an argument with his wife, Clara, played by Charlie Olson. Telling her he's skipping Christmas, he storms out of the bar, goes snowmobiling across the lake, falls through the ice and goes into a coma.

He comes back in his dream where he's visited by folk legend Sven Yorgensen, played by Brent Roelofs, who plays the ghost of Christmas past, present and future. Sven takes Gunner (Scrooge) on a journey similar to that in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," only it's a very different journey.

Will Gunner come out of his coma and find redemption with Clara at The Bunyan?

The show features 17 original songs, including, "The Christmas Cheese Polka," "The Wheel is Turnin' but the Hamster is Dead," "Gunner Fell Into an Ice Hole," "It's Christmas Time so Please Give Me Some," "The Bunyan Beguine," "I Love You More Than Football," "What Would Barbra Streisand Do?" and "I'd Rather be Naughty." The book and lyrics are by Phil Olson with music by Paul Olson, MD.

Other members of the cast are Timothy Miller playing Kanute Gunderson and Connie Olson as Bernice Lundstrom.

The director/choregrapher is Nikki Bettcher Erickson. with Carol Olson as the technical director. The light/sound designer was Dan Schell and the light/sound operators are Dan Schell, Reid Olson and Carol Olson. Kelsey Moe is the stage manager and Laura Miller is the assistant stage manager. Paulette Korsmo is in charge of props and costumes and hair are by Cathy Pregler and Mary Merlin Pelkey. Members of the set crew are Carol Olson, Dan Olson, Jon Horning, Dan Schell, Chris Dornbusch, Connie Olson, Reid Olson, Sabrina McCorquodale, Ace Bonnema, and Kourtny, Nick and Jordan Olson

Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for those 18 and under. The box office is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays; 320-235-9500. The Barn is at 321 Fourth St. in downtown Willmar.

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