Creative Cauldron reprises its crowd-pleasing production of Madeline’s Christmas for the holiday season

Ellen Selby Art & Culture

In what has become a holiday tradition, Creative Cauldron reprises its crowd-pleasing production of Madeline’s Christmas for the holiday season. With Book and Lyrics by Jennifer Kirkeby, and music by Shirley Mier, this musical based on the beloved Ludwig Bemelmans’ classic was hailed by critics as “a perfect holiday treat, sure to bring smiles and laughter sprinkled with nostalgia and sparkle for all.” Professional actors Anna Phillips-Brown, Chris Rios and Producing Director Laura Connors Hull join a cast with fifteen student actors enrolled in Creative Cauldron’s Musical Theater training program. Matt Conner directs, Stephen Crisp serves as Musical Director and Stephen Gregory Smith choreographs. Scenic and Costume Designer, Margie Jervis, brings the illustrative world of Bemelmans to life with help from Lighting Designer, James Morrison. Madeline’s Christmas runs December 6th through 23rd at Creative Cauldron, 410 South Maple Avenue Falls Church, VA.

“In an old house in Paris, covered in vines, lived 12 little girls in two straight lines.” And with that familiar phrase, author and illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans sets in motion the adventures of the brave and resourceful Madeline. In this musical adaptation, Madeline’s schoolmates and tutor are all sick in bed on Christmas Eve, unable to go home for Christmas. Madeline comes to the rescue with the help of a magical rug merchant and takes her friends on a Christmas journey they will never forget.

Anna Phillips-Brown plays the wise and caring teacher Miss Clavel. Phillips-Brown is a DC native and based actress who recently graduated from The Catholic University of America where she obtained her Bachelor of Music degree with a focus in Musical Theatre in May of 2019. She was last seen at Creative Cauldron as Mrs. Zuckerman in 2018’s Charlotte’s Web. Other regional credits include the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods (Catholic University), Leah in Beautiful Thing (The Rainbow Theatre Project), and Elizabeth Hubbard in The Crucible (Keegan Theatre). Making his Creative Cauldron debut as Monsieur Brun and Harsha, the magical rug merchant, is Christopher Rios. Rios recently performed as Tommy Ross in Carrie, The Musical (Workhouse Performing Arts), Matt in Dog Sees God (Wolf Pack Theatre Company) and Jimmy/Francisco in Stonewall 50 (Rainbow Theatre Project). Lara Rosati makes her professional debut as the precocious little Parisian, Madeline.

Direction and choreography have been led by the award-winning duo of Matt Conner and Stephen Gregory Smith. As a creative team, Conner and Smith have had numerous original musicals performed at professional venues around the DC metro area, to local and national acclaim, including Signature Theatre and Creative Cauldron. Award-winning Scenic/Costume/and Properties Designer, Margie Jervis, uses extensive puppetry and elegantly simple set design to bring the beloved classic illustrations into three dimensions with warmth and color. James Morrison brings us from the dormitory to the lamp-washed streets of Paris to twinkling city-scapes with his lighting design.

Participants from Creative Cauldron’s Musical Theater pre-professional training program will play the twelve little girls as well as ensemble roles in Madeline’s Christmas. They receive instruction in dance, voice and acting technique, and an invitation to join the professional cast for a full length production. The program was launched in 2017 with The Wizard of Oz. Ensemble members include: Abby Fred, Mai Gabra, Arminé Heard, Maya Johnson, Penelope Levy, Marianne Meade, Bevin Mills, Carmen Ortiz, Peyton Rydzewski, Gabby Modine, Sophie Schmittel, Sophie Silva, Nora Sullivan, and Leah Tysse.

Tickets for Madeline’s Christmas can be purchased at or by calling the box office at 703-436-9948.

Madeline’s Christmas
Book and Lyrics by Jennifer Kirkeby
Music by Shirley Mier
Based on the book by Ludwig Bemelmans

December 6– 23, 2019
Fridays at 7:30 pm
Saturdays at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm
Sundays at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm
Wednesday, December 18, Thursday December 19, and Monday, December 23 at 7:30 PM.

Creative Cauldron
410 South Maple Avenue
Falls Church, VA, 22046

Tickets: Adults $30 | Seniors $28 | Military $28 | Students $20 | Groups $16
Family Four-Pack $80 with code 4PK (only five Family Four-Packs available per performance)
Free Parking in 410 and 400 South Maple Building Garages