4 Stars Out Of 5
Good program, with some modifications
December 3, 2014
Our church used Christmas Hang-ups for our December 2014 Christmas program. I am going to share some details that will hopefully assist anyone considering this programs.
First of all, I think the previous reviewer left his review in the wrong place? There is no character named Gabriel in this program.
The speaking parts are:
Angela, an angel
Beth, the star of Bethlehem
Frosty the snowman
The Hula Girl
Joseph-The book recommends using an adult who sings for Joseph, but we used a child. We eliminated his solo.
All of these parts are fairly extensive and will require a lot of work for the young actors.
I had an extra child that wanted a part, so I added in Shep, the shepherd, and gave him some of Frosty, Angela, and Beth's lines. Mary is not in the program but I added her as a non-speaking part in order to include a little girl who needed a part. There is also a child who is to give a scripted prayer at the end. There are three additional "ornaments" with one line each, but we ended up cutting those parts.
The basic premise of the story is in the product description. This is a cute program, but it is also quite a lengthy musical with 10 songs and 8 scenes. While we loved the overall story, this was really just too long and complicated for our church. We are a larger church, but our families are very busy and I did not feel we could pull this off "as is". We ended up condensing the program into 5 scenes and 5 songs. It actually worked out wonderfully and it was not hard to eliminate certain portions as there was a lot of "fluff" in some scenes. Here's how we did it:
Eliminated the first song "Hurry Christmas" and started with Scene 1 which we kept intact.
Next we sang "On the First Day of Christmas" which is a great, singable song with a great message.
Scene Two-left intact
Mele Kalikimaka- performed by hula girl and 4 other hula girl singers. This is adorable!
Scenes 3,4,5,6 were condensed into one simplified scene. Eliminated songs were Bundle Up!, All Alone at Christmas, and March of the Souvenirs. Kids have short attention spans and we really wanted to get to the heart of the story which is the message of Christ's birth.
Next we sang "The Nativity Story". Joseph narrates during this song and we had a slideshow showing scenes from the Nativity. We also had a featured soloist.
Scene 7 and "He Came" which was sang by teenage girls. This is a more contemporary sounding song which worked out well for the older girls as they wanted to sing something more "mature" sounding. This is the song that Joseph is supposed to sing as a soloist, but it works fine as a group song.
Scene 8 was somewhat condensed. The song "Isn't He" was eliminated. It was just too slow and long for this late in the program. I wanted my kid's choir to be awake and excited for the finale.
Child's prayer followed by the Finale Song. The congregation joined us on the finale.
The kids love this program and some of the lines are hysterically funny. The message of Christ's birth is obviously conveyed once you remove some of the fluff. I appreciated that some of the parts could be easily adjusted to fit a boy or a girl. The costumes were pretty easy to pull together. I forgot to mention, we had the entire kid's choir dressed as ornaments as well. A lot of them came as "souvenir" type ornaments and wore princess costumes or sports uniforms.