A Show-Stopping Christmas (2022 Lifetime)

A Show Stopping Christmas

A Show-Stopping Christmas (2022 Lifetime)

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Cast: Jamie Perez, Thomas McDonell, Caroline Portu

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Riley Burdett (Perez) is the artistic director of the Onota Theatre in Western Massachusetts. When Regina, the Scrooge-like owner of the theatre, breaks the news that she’s preparing to sell the property before the holiday performance, Riley must call upon the ghosts of Regina’s past, present, and future to change her mind. Meanwhile, a big TV star, Sam Palmer (McDonnell), has moved to the area to escape the craziness of Hollywood. Riley casts him as Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol and his star power, his cleverness, and his budding love for Riley helps her save the theatre… and steal her heart during this very special Christmastime.

Recap/Wine Thoughts

Riley Burdett is a theater director in a small town who is casting a production of A Christmas Carol. Riley goes to social media on Archie’s account when the turnout isn’t what she hoped for. (Who will be playing Scrooge.) 

Sam sits at Archie’s bar and talks to a handsome bartender named Bill. Sam considers auditioning after Bill encourages him to do so. Sam laughs because he is a famous sitcom actor. 

Riley goes home and hands out with her roomie/costume designer, Bridget. They get a call from Regina, who asks Riley to pause auditions because she is selling the theater. 

Riley goes to the theater, where she unplugs the ghost light and calls upon the ghost of Christmas present, past, and future. Sam interrupts her seance, and Riley is annoyed. She becomes even more annoyed when Sam tells her that he is Regina’s nephew and is helping with the sale of the theater. The theater will close its doors after A Christmas Carol.

Sam feels bad and agrees to audition for the play, landing the part of Bob Cratchett. 

Until the cast list goes up, Sam helps Riley decorate the lobby, and they place the tree right in front of a set of doors. (Which is totally a fire hazard!)

At the first audition, Sam is late and his Aunt Regina is not excited about the casting. He is actually totally mean and rude. What is up with her!?

The theater actors decorate Regina’s house and try to cheer her up with confetti and 1920s costume. Regina is VERY annoyed. She wants nothing to do with the theater because it brings back memories of her husband Jake. (They ran the theater together.)

A town caroling event is put on by the cast of A Christmas Carol sings songs to the community and announces the casting of Emmy winner Sam. Regina is not impressed with the publicity stunt. She tells Riley off and explains that she wants to retire and that it is none of Riley’s business. The money would go to Regina AND Sam. Riley didn’t realize that Sam was a co-owner of the theater. It breaks up the bond between Sam and Riley. She is pretty harsh in her delivery and kicks him out of her house. 

Riley spends the night in the theater alone and cries to a plaque of Jake. She feels like she isn’t good enough to keep the theater open. 

Sam has a change of heart and talks to Regina about NOT selling the theater to a condo-developing firm. He understands now that the theater is a community. She threatens to cancel A Christmas Carole if Sam doesn’t sign the paperwork. 

Riley has an idea and gets the kids in the production to do an interview with local news. Regina locks the theater, and the actors cannot rehearse the play. They end up practicing in the high school auditorium. Then a winter storm rolls in, and the theater is set as a local shelter for people who lose power.

Regina and Riley have a meeting on the stage alone. Regina is upset that the whole town hates her and expects her to be as selfless as Jake. She wants nothing to do with the theater because it is too painful. I feel like Regina has a right to feel that way and to be able to walk away if she wants to. 

The cast gets ready for the opening night of the show. I’m a little confused. Are these 400 people here to take refuge from the storm or watch live theater? 

For whatever reason, the show happens, and Tiny Tim says the line, “God bless us, everyone!” Regina takes the stage, and someone shouts, “Get off the stage Scroogina” She takes the verbal assault and says she deserves that because that is how she has been acting. Regina announces her retirement and announces that Riley will be the new owner. She hands over the deed and the keys, and everyone cheers. 

Riley enjoys a champagne toast with Bridget and Archie. Then she hears music backstage, and Sam has a present for her. A dove ornament from last year. He says he is going to stay and help run the theater. (Well, ain’t that a bitch, Regina must be so pissed!) 

They kiss. The end. 

Side Note

Ad Alert: Carmax billboard 

PRETTY Boring! This was released last year in other markets, but Lifetime is trying to fill out the schedule

Minority Report:  Riely, Bill, Tiny Tim, Reporter, 


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Christmas Trees represent Christmas vibes. *** I’ve updated the rating system. Wine is overall enjoyment (NOT a value judgment) on a 1-5 scale.

 I will use the following tags for those who want to know if they should watch or skip: Pour it Up (Would Recommend) or Put A Cork In It (Would Not Recommend). 

Overall rating

Christmas Feels

🎄🎄 (2 Christmas Trees)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷 (1 glass of wine.)

What did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments or on social media @LifetimeUncorked

*Photo Credit: © 2022 Lifetime

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