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December 16th, 2011 By Rick Pender | Arts & Culture |

Stage Door: It's TRUE-ly Christmas

-1Joneal Joplin as Ebenezer Scrooge

This is the final weekend for performances by New Edgeclif Theatre of an unusual double-bill. Part one is a delightful one-man performance by local actor Joshua Steele of David Sedaris's The Santaland Diaries, an account of working as a Christmas elf — named "Crumpet" — at Macy's in New York City. Steele was great in this a year ago, and he's even better this time around.

New Edgecliff has replaced a dreary second-act piece by Sedaris with an entertaining new element. Collaborating with the guys who organize the quarterly True Theatre evenings at Know Theatre, you can hear three storytellers describe personal experiences of "True Christmas." This weekend is extra special. In addition to a young man whose only wish is to spend another Christmas with his grandmother and a Vietnam vet whose views about Christmas have changed radically over the years, True is presenting a bit of a celebrity: Veteran actor Joneal Joplin played Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park for eight years. He has literally lived the life of Scrooge — and he'll talk about his journey with the old skinflint who's reminded of the true meaning of Christmas. It should be a rare treat.

New Edgecliff performs in the Columbia Performance Center (3900 Eastern Ave., Columbia-Tusculum), a one-time church, and it only seats about 100 people, so I'm guessing tickets ($23 for adults, $18 for seniors, $15 for students) will go fast for this one-of-a-kind evening. Call 888-588-0137 for tickets or go to www.newedgecliff.com.

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