Christmas Karol: A Holiday Intervention Cabaret

Worried about the supply-chain crises and rising cost of Christmas trees, Karol decides to cancel her famous holiday party. It’s up to her friends and family – and a few carolers – to save the tradition. Armed with their favorite songs of the season, the friends gradually win over the reluctant hostess.

Artistic Director Jay Españo and Christa Retka have conceived and will co-direct this alternately funny, warm, and heartfelt cabaret.

CHRISTMAS KAROL: A HOLIDAY INTERVENTION CABARET will feature two different casts (to be announced) of Chicagoland musical theatre performers – each playing a separate weekend. Performers will include PrideArts favorite Scott Gryder – a 2019 Jeff Award winner for his solo performance of BUYER AND CELLAR – along with talented newcomers.  Cast A will play Thursday, December 9 through Sunday, December 12. Cast B, including Gryder, will play Thursday, December 16 through Sunday, December 19.

  • Director: Jay Espano, Christa Retka
  • Writer: Jay Espano, Christa Retka

Tickets can be purchased here.

Jay Españo (Artistic Director, Production Director). Born in Manila, The Philippines, he joined the prestigious Tanghalang Pilipino’s Actors Company in 1998, where he trained with acclaimed Filipino director Nonon Padilla. He acted in several commercials, television series and films. Notably, he was a regular cast member of Koko KwikKwak – a spin-off of Batibot (Philippine SESAME STREET). He toured The Philippines with that show’s mascots, performing for kids throughout the country. In 2000, Jay was one of many Filipino actors who were cast in the Action Theater Singapore’s hit musical CHANG AND ENG, which toured Asia for several years.

Since moving to the Chicago area, Jay has worked with storefront theater companies such as Silk Road Rising, Prologue, Ghostlight, Halcyon, and PrideArts. He has played the role of the King in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I with various theater companies in the US and in Canada.