Striking 12 is a perfect alternative to standard holiday fare while still being family-friendly. On New Year’s Eve, an over-worked and under-inspired single guy who’s had enough of holiday cheer makes a resolution: to stay home and go to bed early. On another New Year’s Eve, a continent away—and more than a century earlier—Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Match Girl tries unsuccessfully to sell her matches in the snow. The two stories are brought together when a young woman selling special “full-spectrum holiday light bulbs” to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder shows up at the grumpy man’s door.
Though the man (who probably could use the bulbs) seems to enjoy the young woman’s company, he sends her away. It’s not until he reads “The Little Match Girl” that he is finally pulled out of his funk. All of this unfolds through a tuneful pop/rock/jazz score that retains the vibrant style of its original performers: the celebrated band, GrooveLily. (The show has since been expanded to 8 or more actors and 6 musicians). The witty and deeply moving script weaves three stories and settings: contemporary New York City, 19th century Denmark, and the very room in which the show is presented. Through simple, unpretentious theater created through the voices and instruments of the performers, Striking 12 reminds us that “the world looks like new… on the first day of the year.”