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‘A Twisted Christmas Carol’ premieres Dec. 6 at Port Arthur Little Theatre

Texas, barbecue and Christmas — name a better combination.

A West Texas modern day barbecue joint on Christmas Eve is the backdrop for Port Arthur Little Theatre’s upcoming production of “A Twisted Christmas Carol.”

The play, which is loosely based on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” is written by Phil Olson and directed by Richard Lene.

“A Twisted Christmas Carol” will premiere at the theatre at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6. Other showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, 13 and 14; and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 15.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, teachers and military and $7 for students. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.palt.org.

“The performance opens with the main character, Buford Johnson, who decides he’s going to go four-wheeling on Christmas Eve after fighting with his wife, Darla,” Lene said. “He gets flipped over by a twister and goes into a coma.”

Married couple Stacey, left, and Mark Bradley, right, rehearse their roles as Darla and Buford in the Port Arthur Little Theatre Monday night for the upcoming production of ‘A Twisted Christmas Carol.’ (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

Buford is then thrust into a state between life and death, where he meets up with his ex-business partner, Hank Walker, who takes him through the stages of Christmas past, present and future.

Lene said the play has everything an audience can want — comedy, Texas, barbecue and beer.

“Who doesn’t like Texans?” he said. “Who doesn’t like ‘A Christmas Carol,’ and who doesn’t like barbecue? All of those together, and comedy, it’s going to be amazing.”

Lene said the comedy, which is filled with one-liners, jokes, and downright stupidity will be a hoot for the whole family.

“Honestly, the fun part really goes from the opening curtain to the closing curtain,” he said. “I’ve even had a hard time getting my actors to stay in character when they hit a funny parts.”

The characters include husband and wife duo Buford and Darla Johnson, Daisy Newsom, Hank Walker and Bubba Pickford.

Mayra Ceja, left, Stacey Bradley, center, and Ben Porter, right, rehearse their perspective roles as Daisy, Darla and Bubba in the Port Arthur Little Theatre Monday night for the upcoming production of ‘A Twisted Christmas Carol.’ (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

Nederland resident Ben Porter, 18, plays Bubba, a gas station owner with a few screws loose.

“My favorite part about Bubba is that he is a little thick,” Porter said. “It’s always fun to play the stupid character, to be the comedic relief. I just get to be really stupid and I like getting into character. What I love about Bubba, and this is close to me, is that he just gets himself into situations where people don’t want to say certain things and he’s just completely oblivious. Quite similar to myself.”

Throughout the play, Bubba constantly tries to rope Daisy into marrying him. Daisy, played by Mayra Ceja, rejects the proposals as she dreams of becoming a famous chef in a big city.

“I love playing Daisy,” Ceja said. “She’s a dreamer, a lot like me. She started as a waitress and so did I. We both set out to achieve a career and got everything we dreamed of in the end. I definitely relate to my character.”

Stacey and Mark Bradley, who are married on stage and in real life, play Buford and Darla Johnson, a bickering couple who finds peace and love at the end of the play when Buford returns from his journey.

“I play Buford and he owns the barbecue stand with his wife,” Mark said. “I’m kind of thick headed and I end up in an accident. I go through the Christmas past, present and future, and learn that I’ve been doing things all wrong. I realize I need to let Darla know how much I care about her.”

Carlos Sierra, left, and Mark Bradley, right, rehearse their roles as Hank and Buford in the Port Arthur Little Theatre Monday night for the upcoming production of ‘A Twisted Christmas Carol.’ (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

Mark said the pair often practices their lines and roles at home and in the car, driving their children crazy.

Port Neches resident Carlos Sierra plays Hank, ex business partner and spirit guide of Buford.

“While Buford’s in a coma, I’m trying to take what’s his, while also trying to teach him a lesson,” Sierra said. “It’s contradicting but also really funny. That’s where a lot of the comedy comes from in my role. I’m messing with him, but I’m trying to help him, too.”

The play will be performed for the first time on stage as written. Lene said he is excited for people to come out and experience this play for the first time ever.

“I have never had a cast that’s been so close and work so good together,” he said. “There’s always some little diva out there that wants all the attention on them, none of them are like that. It’s like a family.

“The play is set in Texas, it’s funny and it’s Christmas. What’s not to love?”