Musical 'Misconception' will be performed at D.C. festival

SPECIAL
Mark Swanson's original musical Misconception: The Lost Gospel of Christmas, which premiered at Le Chat Noir, will be performed in Washington, D.C., during the Capitol Fringe Festival held July 11-28. The cast includes Melissa Canas as Gabriel, Ernie Williamson as Lucifer, Andrea Collins as Mary, and Sean Prouty as Joseph.
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After a successful run at Le Chat Noir, encore performances and a concert featuring just the musical score, the original musical Misconception: The Lost Gospel of Christmas is headed for the Capitol Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C., next week for five performances, with additional performances in Norfolk, Va.

Mark Swanson directs a rehearsal for the holiday musical he wrote in 2011.
Mark Swanson directs a rehearsal for the holiday musical he wrote in 2011.

“I’ve just been incredibly humbled by the response from people in Augusta,” said Mark Swanson, who wrote the musical in 2011 to fill a holiday slot. The show has sold out numerous times at Le Chat, with audiences begging for more.

The show is a modern-day take on the biblical story of the birth of Christ and how people might respond in the 21st century when they hear the news that Mary is pregnant and the father is God.

“When people hear that, some of them think it’s sacrilegious, but it’s not,” said Mark’s wife, Nicole, who has directed the show.

It does have an irreverent, humorous tone at times, with the wise men being performed as a boy band, but there are poignant moments as well. When Herod learns of the threat of a new king and issues a decree to kill all male children under the age of 2, there’s a song that gets to Nicole every time, she said.

Taking the play to the festival is a huge undertaking for the cast and crew, who are taking time from work and their families to volunteer for the effort.

Mark Swanson said he was in awe of the dedication of the group of actors and singers who believe in the project so much.

“So many people have gone above and beyond,” he said.

He said they’ve been encouraged by those in the community who’ve given their support in a variety of ways, including donating money to help defray the expenses of cast and crew members making the journey.

Swanson said they are about $2,000 away from the fundraising goal. He said the cast is already making a huge commitment and sacrifice.

To make a donation, go to https://fundrazr.com and type the key word “misconception.” Donations can also be made by calling Le Chat Noir at (706) 722-3322.

The shows will be performed July 13, 16, 18, 20 and 21 at the festival. Nicole Swanson said there are people from Augusta who plan to travel to Washington to attend the shows. Tickets are $17. To learn more, visitcapitalfringe.org.

Mark said he hopes the festival will open up doors, not only for him but for the actors involved.


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