The Kings of Christmas

Marley was dead, to begin with. Of course, Marley was a cat. And we weren't in England anymore. We were in Vegas.

Ten years after his father, an Elvis-impersonating magician known as The Magistic King, died or disappeared during a nationally-televised Christmas Special, Carter King begrudgingly returns home for the holidays to bear witness to his certifiable family. Carter awakens to...
Marley was dead, to begin with. Of course, Marley was a cat. And we weren't in England anymore. We were in Vegas.

Ten years after his father, an Elvis-impersonating magician known as The Magistic King, died or disappeared during a nationally-televised Christmas Special, Carter King begrudgingly returns home for the holidays to bear witness to his certifiable family. Carter awakens to find himself tied a chair, accused of feline homicide.

Joining the fray are Uncle Frank--The Magistic King's twin brother and owner of multiple restraining orders from the local law school; neighbor Wendy Williams, who claims to be Carter's love interest. (Carter claims she needs therapy); older brother Kennedy King, aka The Magistic Prince, who has a habit of repeating himself and urinating when nervous; younger brother Clinton King, the smartest...or dumbest...person in the room; and mother Carol King and her "twin sister" Aunt Sylvia, the family member Carol made to make her boys feel better after their father disappeared.

What follows is an intricate series of Rashomon-like reenactments that depict various accounts of Marley’s demise. With the family stacked against him, things look bleak for Carter...who just wants to be done with his nut job of a family.

During a break in the trial, Carter is visited by...you guessed it...3 ghosts. Well, 1 ghost. 1 Magistic King. But he's really smooth about making clear the differences between his 3 ghosts. And Carter King finds himself on a path of discovery, leading him to understanding the true mean of Christmas.

As Schutte says, "It's like A CHRISTMAS CAROL"...if Dickens were an idiot. The only holiday play with Christmas Spirits (revelry), Christmas Spirits (ghosts), and Christmas Spirits (booze).

PRODUCTION HISTORY:
Bard Theatre, Louisville KY - 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

CASTING NOTE:
The ridiculousness of the play keeps casting restrictions away...which we loved at Bard Theatre.

LEO WEEKLY:
"The madcap opening moments of 'Kings' are flat-out brilliant – and the rest of the play lives up to the opening. This is among the best-written, best-executed riffs on Dickens’ 'A Christmas Carol' you’ll ever see. In fact, a word to the wise: stop reading for a moment and immediately order your tickets."

WFPL/NPR:
"Wacky and Warm"
"let’s put on our wacky sweaters and “shoot the boot” every year"

INSIDER LOUISVILLE:
"well on its way to becoming a Louisville classic"

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The Kings of Christmas

Character Information

  • Wendy Delvecchio
    Any Age; Typically of similar age to Carter,
    Any
    ,
    Any
    The literal girl next door to the Kings. Social media influencer. Highly sought-after young lady, but her heart has remained with Carter.
  • Uncle Frank / The Magistic King
    Any Age,
    Any
    ,
    Any
    Double Role: Actor plays twin brothers Frank and Stein. Frank is the twin who has always been trying to escape the long shadow of his talented twin brother--even after his twin brother's death. Frank fancies himself a lawyer, and projects every over-the-top courtroom drama he has even seen on TV. In the end, though, Frank is a person with a big heart and a big appetite.

    Actor also portrays the ghost of Stein King, AKA The Magistic King--an Elvis-impersonating magician who had a hit show in Vegas. Elvis shades, jumpsuits, and a Tupelo drawl joined with a magic wand and a little attitude.
  • Kennedy King
    Any age,
    Any
    ,
    Any
    Kennedy is the oldest of the 3 Kings brothers. Followed in the footsteps of his father and became a magician, known as the Magistic Prince. But he has never been a very good magician...probably due to his alarming number of phobias and complexes. As originally scripted late 20s/early 30s. But with our 9-year run at Bard Theatre, we decided to let go of such constrictive labels. The woman playing the mother has been younger than some of the sons. The brothers have varied in ages, and have been of different races. During the first 3 years, the actor playing Carter was the oldest member of the cast. DO WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU!
  • Clinton King
    Any age,
    Any
    ,
    Any
    Clinton King is the youngest of the 3 Kings brothers who teeters between idiot and genius. Inventor. 18-23 as originally scripted. But with our 9-year run at Bard Theatre, we decided to let go of such constrictive labels. The woman playing the mother has been younger than some of the sons. The brothers have varied in ages, and have been of different races. During the first 3 years, the actor playing Carter was the oldest member of the cast. DO WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU!
  • Carter King
    Any Age,
    Any
    ,
    Any
    Carter is the middle brother of 3 siblings. Curmudgeonly arts critic in New York who loathes coming home to see his family during the holidays. As originally scripted, in his mid-to-late 20s. But with our 9-year run at Bard Theatre, we decided to let go of such constrictive labels. The woman playing the mother has been younger than some of the sons. The brothers have varied in ages, and have been of different races. During the first 3 years, the actor playing Carter was the oldest member of the cast. DO WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU!
  • Carol King
    Any Age,
    Any
    ,
    Any
    Carol King is the widow of Stein, and mother to Carter, Clinton, and Kennedy. She had a sailor's mouth in her day, but does her best to be the mom character she thinks she's supposed to be. After her husband passes, she creates a twin version of herself, "Aunt Sylvia," in an attempt to make the kids feel like they still have plenty of family. It's ridiculous, but she keeps running with it in the hopes that it makes even the slightest difference.

    Of note: the actor playing Carol has NEVER been the oldest actor. Indeed, at least one of her sons has been older than her in each of the 9 productions thus far. This play has no use for such standards. Whether it's having three sons, each of different racial backgrounds, or having said sons not all be "sons," or having a mother who is younger than some or all of her sons--or even not being "mother" in some traditional sense--it can work. And has worked.

Awards

Finalist
,
Best Ensemble
,
Broadway World Awards
,
2017
Finalist
,
Best Play
,
Broadway World Awards
,
2017