Move over Broadway — Here comes Old Theater!

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ORIENTAL – Friends and fans of the community’s famous ‘Old Theater’ expect to see a blockbuster crowd this Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2 when director Bill Hand and his repertory of accomplished performers return for a stellar rendition of ‘Who Stole Father Christmas?

The play, written by Hand, is an intriguing and interactive mystery, which brings back a talented ensemble from earlier this year – the cast of ‘Miss Marple’s Last Case.’


Who Stole Father Christmas? takes place at the North Pole. Father Christmas has been kidnapped! A ransom note is found and fruitcakes have been left behind for the elves. Mother Christmas (portrayed by Sue Baldwin) calls a council of fictional Christmas characters to help get the jolly fellow returned before Christmas. She hopes to rely upon a grown-up Tiny Tim (Jerry Guy); Ebenezer Scrooge (John Baldwin); James & Della Dillingham (Cory Farnham & Nancy Hitchcock); and, Jack Frost (Bill Hand). 

Many in the audience this weekend will be familiar with the Dillinghams – a now legendary married couple from O. Henry’s 1905 short story classic: The Gift Of The Magi.

What does Mother Christmas know about each of these characters? Why did she call on them to solve the mystery? Who on earth is the dark and mysterious little girl who crashes the party?

Who Stole Father Christmas?This holiday season your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to answer these questions: WHO? WHAT? WHERE? WHY? Tickets are just $12. Buy them online at Or, visit either the New Bern or Oriental locations of Nautical Wheelers; or purchase them (assuming supplies last) at the Old Theater box office on Broad Street, beginning at 6:30 pm. Doors of the Old Theater open Friday and Saturday at 7 pm. Performance starts at 7:30 pm

All funds are earmarked for the coffers of the Old Theater Corp. and will largely be spent to keep the historic building in great shape for future performers and audiences.

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