Nov. 29 – Dec. 24, 2017
Opening Night on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017

A new musical by Jeffrey Hatcher, Maggie-Kate Coleman and Andrew Cooke
Directed by John Miller-Stephany  

"Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.” 

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre is proud to present the world premiere of a new chamber musical based upon O. Henry’s beloved holiday story. Unwrap a new tradition in this tender tale of love and sacrifice, told with fresh intimacy on The Rep stage. Acclaimed playwright Jeffrey Hatcher (Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Tuesdays with Morrie, Three Viewings) is joined by composer Andrew Cooke and 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant recipient Maggie-Kate Coleman (lyricist).  

Jim and Della may not have much, but they have each other. As December 25th approaches, they each lament their modest means and search for the perfect gift for their beloved spouse. A joyous, bittersweet and life-affirming fable, The Gift of the Magi will warm your heart this winter. 
“This beloved and ageless Christmas story has been copied, adapted and parodied countless times since it first appeared in print in 1905," Miller-Stephany said. "Although there are a number of stage versions available for licensing, my colleagues and I are eager to create a brand new musical specifically for The Rep’s loyal holiday audience.” 

  • SYNPOSIS: The story tells of a young married couple, James, known as Jim, and Della Young. The couple has very little money and lives in a modest apartment. Between them, they have only two possessions that they consider their treasures: Jim's gold pocket watch that once belonged to his father and his grandfather, and Della's lustrous, long hair .

    On Christmas Eve, with only $1.87 in hand, and desperate to find a gift for Jim, Della sells her hair for $20 to a nearby hairdresser. She then can buy a fob for Jim's watch. Satisfied with the perfect gift for Jim, Della runs home and begins to prepare Christmas Eve dinner.

    That night, Jim walks in and immediately stops short at the sight of Della. Della admits to Jim that she sold her hair to buy him a present. Jim gives Della her present – a set of combs, useless now that her hair is short. Della then gives Jim the fob she bought for him, to which Jim says he sold his watch to get the money to buy her combs. Although Jim and Della are now left with gifts that neither one can use, they realize how far they are willing to go to show their love for each other, and how priceless their love really is.

    The story ends with the narrator comparing the pair's mutually sacrificial gifts of love with those of the Biblical Magi.
  • LANGUAGE: The only adult language used is one instance of “damn.”
  • SMOKING: Yes.
  • DRINKING: Yes. 
  • SEX: None.
  • VIOLENCE: None.
  • RATING: If it were a film, this production would be rated “G” and is suitable for all ages.

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