Performers in the Gold Town Theater’s virtual 2020 Christmas Extravaganza stand ready. This year’s event will involve performers traveling from location to location performing smaller sets. (Courtesy photo / Collette Costa)

Performers in the Gold Town Theater’s virtual 2020 Christmas Extravaganza stand ready. This year’s event will involve performers traveling from location to location performing smaller sets. (Courtesy photo / Collette Costa)

Gold Town Theater prepares for drive-by Christmas Show

Performers will be bringing the show to ticket buyers, traveling all over Juneau this year.

For the length of the pandemic, people have been driving their cars to the Gold Town Theater’s drive-in movie showings.

But for the Christmas show this Saturday, the Theater is driving to them, visiting the Christmas spirit upon those who bought tickets for the 11th Annual Christmas Extravaganza.

“It’s a goat and pony show run by chaos. And there’s some singers doing some lovely things,” said Collette Costa, manager of the theater. “The whole thing is just to have a goof at the holidays.”

[It takes a village to create a holiday tradition]

This will be the 11th iteration of the Christmas show, Costa said. Last years was virtual, while previous years have been held at the theater itself.

“We weren’t quite ready to do it indoors yet, so we thought, we’ll bring it to the people, much in the vein of the drive in,” Costa said. “The idea is to load a condensed show in a van and drive it to a pre-reserved location, and have a mini-show for a small amount of people. The original idea was it was just going to be a 20-minute banger.”

While tickets are already sold out for the semi-private shows scattered around downtown, Douglas and the Mendenhall Valley, the group will round out with a more public show at approximately “6 p.m.-ish” at the drive-in’s location next to the Coast Guard station. Costa emphasized the “ish” in “6:30-ish” for the start time.

“This is a 20-25 minute show,” Costa said. “Don’t expect literal goats and ponies.”

Performers in the Gold Town Theater’s virtual 2020 Christmas Extravaganza pose together for a group shot. This year’s event will involve performers traveling from location to location performing smaller sets. (Courtesy photo / Collette Costa)

Performers in the Gold Town Theater’s virtual 2020 Christmas Extravaganza pose together for a group shot. This year’s event will involve performers traveling from location to location performing smaller sets. (Courtesy photo / Collette Costa)

About 15 people will perform and support the production as they run around town, bringing the joy of the holidays and the performing arts to the hapless ticket purchasers, Costa said. Singers will sing, dancers will dance and Santa Claus will make an appearance during the production, Costa said.

[Annual Christmas Extravaganza sleighs]

“The vision I have in my head is a kind of clown car situation where dancing girls come pouring out of it and elves set the stage. The theme this year is that I’m a talk show host,” Costs said. “Instead of suffering through the two-hour show at the theater, you’re just getting the highlights.”

The tickets were purchased in large by long-time supporters of the Christmas show, Costa said. The show is appropriate for all ages, Costa said, though performers would likely tailor their performance toward those present.

“There’s only eight tickets sold. That’s five hours of work. They’re kind of hardcores that have been coming over the years,” Costa said. “Generally speaking, it’s a family friendly show, though if there aren’t any kids around, it has much greater potential for going off the rails.”

Costa said they hope to be back indoors by next year, but there’s no reason the concept couldn’t be employed elsewhere if it proves successful here.

“We’ll definitely be doing it next year. God willing, we’ll be back inside,” Costa said. “I’m very curious to see how the concept rolls out. If it’s something that everyone enjoys, there’s no reason we couldn’t do something like this as a summer show.”

The Gold Town’s drive-in theater will be taking some time off for about a month, Costa said, but the indoor theater, which has been getting some renovations, is pencilled it for a soft reopening in January, Costa said.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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