By GUY D’ASTOLFO
The Youngstown Playhouse will celebrate Christmas and the holiday season with the one-act play “Not on This Night,” followed by an hour of holiday music featuring Carla Gipson.
The holiday program opens Friday in the Moyer Room — which will be set up as a cabaret — and run for two weekends.
Directed by Dylan White, “Not on This Night” is a heartwarming story set in a French farmhouse on Christmas Eve 1944, as World War II is raging. It drops in on a German soldier and an American soldier who come face to face.
White said the show speaks to the audience on an emotional level. Their initial meeting is not a happy one, but this changes as the play progresses and the true meaning of Christmas shines through.
“Throughout the show, the characters create the idea that no matter where you come from, or what your political or religious tendencies may be, however skewed, we all have a shared humanity,” said White. “Although the characters don’t hold the same values or moral compass, they are able to reach a type of mutual respect for one another.”
In addition to the German soldier (played by Johnny Pecano), and the American soldier (Nick Narkum), their is one other character in the play: a French Woman (Liz Nalepa).
“Not on This Night” is the fifth show directed by White. His most recent effort was “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” a Playhouse youth-theater production.
As an actor, he was last seen in “The Importance of Being Earnest” at Kent State-Trumbull. He also appeared in local productions of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Lend Me a Tenor,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” and “Romeo and Juliet.”
Gipson will take the stage after the play. Joining her for a song or two will be Jimmy McClellan, Johnny Herbert, Gerri DeWitt, Rachelle Joy, David Brown and Monica Beasley Martin.