Fa la la la la, la la K’Plah!

Posted on December 20, 2012

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Two years ago, I read about a production called A Klingon Christmas Carol somewhere in Chicago. Being the slightly feverish Star Trek fan that I am, my dad and I bought tickets. Admittedly, I was a little skeptical at first — would the show come off as gimmicky? A half-thought out attempt to syphon the hard-earned cash from those of us who have no other outlet for our combined love of both the sci-fi phenomenon and the holidays than our fully decorated Star Trek Christmas tree? Would their head ridges even look real?

Then I learned the show was completely in Klingon with English supertitles projected above the stage. Alright, Commedia Beauregard, the troupe behind the production, must have put some effort into the show if they went to those lengths. I wondered if Dickens sounded as good in the original Klingon as Shakespeare. And, after seeing the show, all of my already high expectations were met or exceeded.

Mike and I pose with Klingon warriors SQuja' (left) and QachIt.

Mike and I pose with Klingon warriors SQuja’ (left) and QachIt.

So when I noticed the show was still playing in Chicago now that I’m an official resident, I just had to invite fellow Trekkie Mike to beam up with me. He was on board immediately, but I also had some fun talking it up to him.

First, the themes of redemption, honor and courage ring true not only in Dickens’ classic tale but through the halls of the Klingon Empire. The more one thinks about it, the more it only makes sense to take the story of a man already living like a Ferengi and transport it to Trek Universe. SQuja’ has no honor, and so he must be visited by the Ghosts of Kahless Past, Present and Future in an effort to make him a model Klingon. Like watching a foreign movie, reading the supertitles became second-nature after a while. I would argue that to maintain the play’s true warrior spirit, there’s no other language to perform it in. And it was a hoot to see lines from the original story translated verbatim into Klingon.

The amount of fondness and respect for both Dickens and, more importantly, Star Trek lore, was evident in every aspect of the production. Yes, the makeup and costumes were excellent. But also were the references. Mike and I found ourselves extremely confident in our nerd-dom when we laughed at mentions of Rura Penthe, Sto-vo-kor and at the costume of the Ghost of Kahless Past — that of a smooth-headed Klingon from The Original Series. Everything about A Klingon Christmas Carol was spot-on. Even little Tim’Hom (a very cleverly used puppet) used a miniature bat’leth to hobble his way across stage, in need of SQuja’ to give his father QachIt some time off to train him into a warrior.

I was just as impressed the second time by the show, and Mike admitted that it exceeded the high bar I set for it by a Warp factor of nine. If any of you readers are still in need of bolstering your holiday spirit, grab a bottle of blood wine, sharpen your mek’leth and head to The Raven Theater on Granville and Clark. K’plah!

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Posted in: Lakeview