Revamped “Klingon Christmas Carol” Goes Where None Have Gone Before…

November 30, 2013 § 1 Comment

 Clark Bender and Kevin Alves in A Klingon Christmas Carol

It’s a whole new world this year in Commedia Beauregard’s A Klingon Christmas Carol, which opens this Saturday at Edgewater’s Raven Theatre.  After doing essentially the same show for the last 7 years, creator Christopher Kidder-Mostrom decided it was ripe for reinvention. And reinvent they did, with new “Steampunk Klingon” costumes, a gritty new multi-level set, new weapons, new soundscape, new cast, and even a new Scrooge with Clark Bender stepping into the cowardly boots of SQuja’!

Bender is one of the few returning cast members this year, all of whom are in new roles as no actors were allowed to return to the same parts. Everyone will be in brand-new costumes, designed by kClare Kemock to be a mash-up of Klingon garb and the frock coats of Victorian England, and on Ian Mostrom’s exciting new multi-level set with the industrial feel of a roughed-up space outpost. With the transformation complete, Commedia Beauregard is ready to unveil its new Carol at tonight’s “Twitter Preview” (where the audience is allowed to live-tweet the show), and then at their opening night tomorrow!

If you haven’t heard, A Klingon Christmas Carol is the hilarious and surprisingly heart-warming translation of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale into the language and culture of Star Trek’s famous warrior aliens, the Klingons.

A Klingon Christmas Carol is indeed the first full-length play ever to be produced entirely in the Klingon language. Yes, there is a real, actual, honest-to-god Klingon language. It was invented by renowned linguist Marc Okrand (a big fan of the show) at the behest of Paramount Pictures during the production of Star Trek III. (See him explain the process in the videos below!)

So how do Klingons celebrate Christmas? Well, they don’t. Klingons can’t celebrate the birth of the son of god because they don’t have any gods. Because they killed them. Long story short, the equivalent is the Feast of the Long Night, a kind of winter solstice that’s big on the Klingon home planet, Kronos.

And it’s on Kronos that we find SQuja’, counting his money and berating his employee QachIt. He is the worst kind of man in the Klingon culture: a coward with no honor. But when the ghost of his business partner marlI’ attacks to warn him of the eternal torment that awaits him, he is given a chance at redemption. Three spirits will visit SQuja’ to convince him to regain his honor and become a proper Klingon warrior… but will he see the light in time to save QachIt’s weak son, tiny tImHom, from certain death?

It is a tale full of fierce combat, time travel, and guttural snarls, all drolly narrated by a Vulcan representative from the Vulcan Institute of Cultural Anthropology.

Don’t speak Klingon? Don’t worry, there are English supertitles projected above the stage.

A Klingon Christmas Carol
A Klingon Christmas Carol

Nov 30 through Dec 29, 2013.
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:00pm; Sundays at 3:30pm.

Additional late-night Saturday performances on Dec 14, 21, and 28 at 10:30pm.

Special “Pay With Your Can” performance on Monday, Dec 2 at 8:00pm.

Raven Theatre Complex
6157 N Clark St (at Granville Ave), Chicago, IL 60660.

$20-30 tickets are available at 773.338.2177 or CBTheatre.org. Only 57 tickets are available for each performance and most will sell out, so early reservations are encouraged!

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A Klingon Christmas Carol… REINVENTED!

October 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

A Klingon Christmas Carol reinvents itself for 2013!

Friends, in case you didn’t know, Commedia Beauregard is a small professional theatre company that recently became a resident company at the Raven Theatre Complex. They’ve been around since 1999 (starting in Minneapolis/Saint Paul) and have put up 30 productions over the last 14 years. Their specialty is translation: translation from other languages into English, translation of other art forms to the stage, etc. And once a year they translate Dickens into Klingon.

Their holiday hit A Klingon Christmas Carol has all the elements of the Dickens classic but adapted to the Klingon warrior culture and  meticulously translated into tlhIngan Hol (that’s Klingon for Klingon). It is a terrific show that far more earnest and heartwarming that you would expect from something so silly. You don’t even have to love Star Trek to get this show and have a blast. And if you do love Star Trek, well, you can only imagine the nerd heaven you’ll ascend to!

This year, CB is totally overhauling the show and they need your help!

The goal this year is to make the show unlike it has ever been before: A new multi-level set, new costumes that blend Victorian England with Klingon aesthetics (think steam-punk-Klingon), a new much smaller venue that creates an up-close intimate experience, new fights, new sound-scape… everything is being redone from the ground up.

Check out their Indiegogo campaign and make a donation to support a bigger, meaner Klingon Christmas Carol this year!

 

tlhIngan maH!

 

Comedian Brian Babylon Becomes a Klingon! Guest stars in A Klingon Christmas Carol Dec 14!

December 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Brian Babylon with Scrooge at A Klingon Christmas CarolIn case you haven’t heard, the hilarious Brian Babylon is getting the Klingon treatment this Friday!  The stand-up, radio host, and self-proclaimed Prince of Bronzeville will be joining the cast of A Klingon Christmas Carol on stage. For his special guest role, he will be transformed into a Klingon by donning ridges and learning to speak in tlhIngan Hol, the language of Star Trek‘s warrior race.

You may know Brian from all the buzz he’s been getting with his stand-up act, or by hearing him kick so much ass on WBEZ’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, or from his Vocalo show The Morning AMp!  (In fact, here’s Brian chatting with some Klingons on The Morning AMp! the other day!)

Don’t miss him this Friday in the magic that is the first full-length play ever to be produced entirely in the Klingon language!

A Klingon Christmas Carol 
Thursdays @ 7:30pm, Fridays @ 10:30pm, Saturdays @ 4:00pm and Sundays @ 7:30pm through December 30, 2012.
Raven Theatre, 6157 N Clark St (at Granville Ave), Chicago, IL 60660.
$20-28 tickets are available at 800.838.3006 or CBTheatre.org.

Creator of Klingon Language to Attend A Klingon Christmas Carol!

December 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

A Klingon Christmas Carol - Kevin Alves as SQuja'

The latest Klingon news! Dr. Marc Okrand, the creator of the Klingon Language, will be flying to Chicago to once again see A Klingon Christmas Carol (now playing at Raven Theatre).

Dr. Marc Okrand - courtesy Wikipedia - public domainDr. Okrand, a renowned philologist, is recognized for his work with Native American languages, as well as his work with the first closed-captioning system for hearing-impaired viewers. He was hired by Paramount Pictures to develop tlhIngan Hol (Klingon) as a fully functional language. Since then, the Klingon language has become an integral part of the Star Trek universe. It has been featured in the various Star Trek television series, in several movies, as well as in numerous novels associated with the franchise. Dr. Okrand has also written a Klingon dictionary, and other books about the Klingon language and Klingon culture.

Some vocabulary created by Dr. Okrand has been used for the first time ever in A Klingon Christmas Carol. Scenes added for the Chicago production in 2010 required the addition of new words to the Klingon lexicon. Dr. Okrand specifically created these new words for use in the show.

 

A Klingon Christmas Carol

In Commedia Beauregard’s hilarious yet heart-warming melding of Charles Dickens’ morality tale with the Klingon language and culture, SQuja’ (Scrooge) has neither honor nor courage and is in peril of suffering eternal torment if he is not brought into line with his culture’s values. He is aided by visits from three spirits who work to guide him to fulfill his true potential and save Tiny Tim from a horrible fate.

Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 30, 2012.

Raven Theatre, 6157 N Clark St (at Granville Ave), Chicago, IL 60660.

$20-28 tickets are available at 800.838.3006 or CBTheatre.org.

 

A Klingon Christmas Carol Returns! New Venue! New Director! Still Klingon!

November 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Unless you’ve been serving time at the penal colony of Rura Penthe, you know that Minneapolis theater company Commedia Beauregard relocated to Chicago three years ago, bringing along their hit holiday show, A Klingon Christmas Carol, which immediately become a Chicago sensation as well.

That’s right.  A Klingon Christmas Carol.  Dickens’ beloved classic adapted to reflect the Klingon Warrior Code of Honor and meticulously translated into the Klingon language.

Yes.  The entire show is performed IN THE ACTUAL KLINGON LANGUAGE, with English supertitles projected above the stage for those who are not fluent in tlhIngan Hol (Klingon).  Plus, there’s droll narrative analysis from a representative of the Vulcan Institute of Cultural Anthropology.

If you’re like me, you’re already dying to buy your tickets.

But there’s more because this year’s production is going where no version of A Klingon Christmas Carol has gone before: Edgewater’s Raven Theatre!

And this year the show is being directed by Eric Van Tassell, who brings fresh eyes to this complex work of genius.  And along with a new leader at the helm, the production also has eleven new cast members learning Klingon and stepping into these challenging roles.  Several favorites from the past remain though, such as Kevin Alves reprising his role of SQuja’ (Scrooge), and veterans Philip Zimmermann, Christina Romano, and Clark Bender.

A Klingon Christmas Carol opens at the Raven Theatre with a big gala event  this Saturday, December 1, featuring a silent auction, live music, Klingon-themed munchies, and door prizes… and of course, the opening night performance!

A Klingon Christmas Carol

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, December 1 – 30, 2012.

Raven Theatre, 6157 N Clark St (at Granville Ave), Chicago, IL 60660.

Tickets are available at 800.838.3006 or CBTheatre.org.

Can three ghosts help Scrooge become a true warrior in time to save Tiny Tim from a horrible fate?

Ah, the suspense!!

Creator of Klingon Language to Attend A Klingon Christmas Carol! Inaugural Chicago Run will Close with Honor!

December 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Commedia Beauregard, the Minnesota-based theater company responsible for bringing the Klingon Xmas phenomenon to our fair city, has announced that Dr. Mark Okrand, the CREATOR of the Klingon Language, will be attending the December 16 showing at the Greenhouse Theater Center.

Dr. Okrand is a linguist who is recognized for his work with Native American languages, as well as his work with the first closed-captioning system for hearing-impaired viewers.

He was hired by Paramount Pictures to develop tlthIngan Hol (Klingon) as a fully functional language. Since then, the Klingon language has become an integral part of the Star Trek universe. It has been featured in the various Star Trek television series, in several movies, as well as in numerous novels associated with the franchise. Dr. Okrand has also written a Klingon dictionary, and co-authored the libretto for the first Klingon Opera, which opened in The Hague on Sept. 10th of this year.

Some vocabulary created by Dr. Okrand is being used for the first time ever in A Klingon Christmas Carol. Scenes added for this year’s production required the addition of new words to the Klingon lexicon.  Dr. Okrand specifically created these new words for use in the show.

A Klingon Christmas Carol is the first full play to be produced in the Klingon language. It is in its fourth year of production in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and its first in Chicago.

The main character, SQuja’, is a Klingon who lacks both honor and courage.  Like his counterpart in the English tale, SQuja’ is in peril of suffering eternal torment if he is not brought into line with his culture’s values.  He is aided by visits from three spirits who work to guide him to fulfill his true potential.

According to Commedia Beauregard’s Artistic Director, Christopher O. Kidder, A Klingon Christmas Carol is one of a number of productions each year that fulfill Commedia Beauregard’s mission “…to translate the universal human experience to the stage; to expand our horizons and share knowledge of all cultures, translating between languages and between arts to create theater that is beautiful in expression.”

“The cast is really excited to meet the man responsible for the unique challenge of learning, not to mention pronouncing, lines in Klingon.” said Kidder, “They can’t wait to give him a hearty Klingon ‘thank you.’”

A Klingon Christmas Carol is a co-production of Commedia Beauregard and the IKV Emperor’s Hand of the Klingon Assault Group.  Written by Christopher O. Kidder and Sasha Walloch.  Directed by Christopher O. Kidder.  Translated by Laura Thurston, Bill Hedrick, and Christopher O. Kidder.  Additional Content and Translation by Chris Lipscombe.  Lyrics to qu’wI’ by Terrence Donnelly.

FINAL PERFORMANCES:
Thursday 12/16 @ 7:30pm
Friday 12/17 @ 7:30pm,
Saturday 12/18 @ 7:30pm
Sunday 12/19 @ 2:30pm

Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln Ave (2 blocks south of Fullerton Ave), Chicago, IL 60614.

$32 tickets are available at 773.404.7336 or GreenhouseTheater.org.

For more information, visit CBTheatre.org.

"A Klingon Christmas Carol" Comes to Chicago! Dickens' Classic Done IN KLINGON.

November 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

A mesmerizing experience.”  – Onion A.V. Club

Clever dialogue and plotting…funny even if [you’ve] never heard of Star Trek.”  – CityPages.com

A lark done well.  If this is the kind of thing you like, you’ll like this kind of thing.”  – St. Paul Pioneer Press

Star Trek fans, begin losing control of your fluids now.

The first play ever to be produced entirely in the Klingon language, the Twin Cities phenomenon A Klingon Christmas Carol has finally come to Chicago.  Scrooge has neither honor nor courage in this uproarious twist on the classic holiday tale.  Can the visits of three spirits help him to become a true warrior in time to save Tiny Tim from a horrible fate?  Find out in Commedia Beauregard’s melding of Charles Dickens’ morality tale with the language and culture of the Star Trek warrior race.  Performed “in the original Klingon” (with English subtitles provided for the benefit of audience members who don’t speak the language), this bizarre hit has earned itself a following of both Trek devotees and novices alike.

“Klingons wouldn’t care if Scrooge was not charitable or nice,” explains Commedia Beauregard Artistic Director Christopher O. Kidder.  “Instead, the spirits that visit our Scrooge are trying to help him become honorable and courageous, the two highest virtues of Klingon society.”

tlhIngan Hol (Klingon) is a fully functional language, invented for the Star Trek television series by philologist Marc Okrand.  The producers of the Star Trek franchise tasked him with creating a complete language that could be used by the bumpy-headed alien race that had become a major part of their science fiction universe.

As with any translation, working English into Klingon is not a precise process. Translating A Christmas Carol into the guttural warrior tongue was especially problematic for Commedia Beauregard because the Klingons have no gods and no Christ, hence no Christmas. The title of the play translates roughly as “Feast of the Long Night Song” and could most closely be understood to be more of a winter solstice carol.

A Klingon Christmas Carol is a co-production of Commedia Beauregard and the IKV Emperor’s Hand of the Klingon Assault Group.  Written by Sasha Walloch & Christopher O. Kidder.  Directed by Christopher O. Kidder.  Translated by: Laura Thurston, Bill Hedrick, and Christopher O. Kidder.  Additional Content and Translation by Chris Lipscombe.  Lyrics to qu’wI’ by Terrence Donnelly.

Opening Black Friday, November 26, 2010.
Running Thursdays @ 7:30pmFridays @ 7:30pmSaturdays @ 7:30pm, and Sundays @ 2:30pm through Sunday, December 19, 2010.

Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln Ave (2 blocks south of Fullerton Ave), Chicago, IL 60614.

$32 tickets are available at 773.404.7336 or GreenhouseTheater.org.

For more information, visit CBTheatre.org.

Special Performance Monday, November 29 @ 7:30pm
“Pay-With-Your-Can” Night

Pay-With-Your-Can night is a food Drive that benefits the Greater Chicago Food Depository. A person bringing in one non-perishable food item gets $10 off their ticket price. With three non-perishable food items, a person gets in free on that night. Pre-sale tickets for Pay-With-You-Can night may be made at full admission rate. In order to take advantage of this offer, customers must bring cans on night of performance on a first-come-first served basis.

Klingons and helping the needy. Is this a Christmas miracle?!

Yes.

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