Storybook characters will come to life Dec. 10 at Sam Houston State University's Bernard Johnson Coliseum when the curtain rises on the American Family Theater's production of the holiday favorite, "Babes in Toyland."

The colorful musical by Victor Herbert it touted as a full-scale family event complete with unforgettable music, a fun-filled story and spectacular sets.

The performance, sponsored by SHSU's Department of Student Recreation, is slated for 7 p.m.

Part of the American Family Theater's "Broadway for Kids" series, "Babes" follows the exploits of Mary the unwitting fiancee of a nefarious banker named Barnaby. Mary is in love with the charming young Alan, but to save her home she agrees to marry the old banker.

The couple end up fleeing to Toyland with Jack and Jill, of nursery rhyme fame. Along their way, as group encounters a variety of well-known storybook characters, children in the audience are given a chance to join in the fun. Shouting from their seats, the kids help Jack lean his ABC's and help Mary decide whether or not to marry Barnaby.

In the end, after pursuing the fugitives into Toyland the evil banker sees the error of his ways and cancels the wedding and, of course, they all live happily ever after.

The entire production is sprinkled with songs such as "Toyland, Toyland, Wonderful Girl and Boyland," that are sure to spark memories of Christmases past.

"It was a wonderful learning experience and a lot of fun," reported Lana Sweeten, who reviewed AFT's "Babes" for the Bay City Daily Tribune. "It was like opening the pages of a storybook bursting with fantasy, nursery rhymes and the ABC's."

Tickets for the Dec. 10 production of "Babes in Toyland" can be purchased at the Johnson Coliseum box office or charged by phone. Tickets cost $6 for adults and $4 for SHSU students and children age 12 and under. For more information or to order tickets call the coliseum at 294-1740.


Media Contact: Phillip Rollfing

Nov. 22, 1996