KU Theatre & Dance Kicks off The Holidays with “Milking Christmas: A New Musical”

Written by Melaina Hesterlee


Always being a musical lover, I was excited to watch my first KU musical production. I am always eager to expand my musical tastes. The actors’ singing and acting skills are impressive. From the audience, I could see these actors’ passion for theater, and they had such a great time performing. The jokes in the show had the audience laughing in hysterics. The actors and the audience feed off each other’s energy, and that energy creates an even better experience.

In a performance, I didn’t just see the passion of the actors but the crew’s passion as well. Their art shows, even though they are not visible, through the impressive set design. Off-center of the stage was a light blue glittery slide that the actors would slide down. Towards the right of the stage, there were also stairs and multiple ledges that gave the stage more height. I’m used to sketchy and noisy set designs from my high school experience, and this was a major upgrade.

A pianist orchestrated music from underneath the slide. I’m used to seeing an orchestra in the front of the stage when attending a musical. It was shocking to just hear the piano but the simplicity fit the vibe of the show. Throughout the performance, I thought, ‘I feel like I have listened to this before, but yet, I am listening to the music for the first time.’ The show used original Christmas melodies but switched up the lyrics to fit the story which threw me off until the end of the show. 

A driving factor that pushed me towards seeing the show was my childhood friend, Morgan Tate. I have always supported her in her acting journey through elementary, middle and high school. Her energy lights up the stage, and you can see her passion for performing. Watching her through her journey gives me a sense of pride, knowing how far she has come. Like athletes, actors get better and better with every rehearsal and performance. Morgan played Cane (a candy cane) in a group that rebelled against Santa, providing comedic relief. This was a main role and a big deal for Morgan. She has worked hard, not always getting the roles she wants, but she would push through and have a great time. She deserved this role more than anything.

I had an amazing time watching the show. It was an absolute delight filled with hilarious moments that had me laughing out loud. I highly recommend “Milking Christmas” to anyone who is a fan of Christmas and looking for a good laugh. The department’s performance was outstanding, and it blew me away. 

I am excited to attend the next show by the department, which is “Sweeney Todd,” in February. A childhood friend of mine is a part of the production, and I enjoy supporting him in his acting journey. Although I have never seen “Sweeney Todd” before, I have heard it is an excellent production, and I am eagerly looking forward to watching it.