A holiday musical called "incisive and poignant" by the Chicago Sun-Times
and "affirming and family-friendly" by the Chicago Tribune, Prairie Lights
tells the story of a Jewish brother and sister who journey west on an Orphan Train in 1905.
Arriving with other homeless youths in a tiny Nebraska town just before the holidays, Benjamin and Rose are adopted by Wellspring's only Jewish couple, Abe and Sophie Birnbaum. Devout 12-year-old Benjamin clashes with Abe, a successful shopkeeper who has abandoned his religion. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Rose falls secretly in love with a fellow orphan, thus upsetting Sophie's marriage plans for the girl.
Townsfolk are further divided by the fearful banker, Maxwell Ryder, who wants to send all of the orphans back to New York. As the town prepares for Christmas and Hanukkah approaches, Benjamin finds himself enlisting the young people -- orphans and local kids alike -- on a quest to reunite Wellspring.
Joyful ensemble numbers such as "Sweet Holiday Light," and "If I Were a Maccabee" are complemented by Sophie's soul-searching lament, "Mama, Good Morning," and the romantic ballad, "Far Away With Me."
"...evokes the hopefulness of the winter holidays... treats children and adults with respect." Columbus Dispatch