carol

Michael McLean portrays Uncle John in his Christmas production of “The Forgotten Carols.”

What started out as a one-man show decades ago, the “Forgotten Carols” has grown into a major theatrical production and holiday tradition for many.

Michael McLean’s “Forgotten Carols” will be performed in dozens of Western cities this holiday season, including two performances in Idaho Falls at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 and the day before at the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 29.

This year, McLean has “re-imagined” the story to give it a fresh look.

“I’ve been telling the story of ‘The Forgotten Carols’ for 28 years … and I’m changing it,” he said in his promotional material. “I believe I have to. I got to say, I don’t know how it’s possible to tell the same story so differently and have it feel more familiar than ever … but that’s what’s happened and I hope you can come this year and experience with me ‘The Forgotten Carols Re-Imagined.’”

The program tells the story of Constance Louise Chamberlain, a nurse who hasn’t laughed or cried in over 30 years. But that changes when she meets, and cares for, a homeless man with dementia (Uncle John, played by McLean) who says he’s been alive for more than 2,000 years. Uncle John recounts the story of Christ’s birth through these forgotten carols sung from the perspective of his “friends” the Inn Keeper, a shepherd, Handel and others, taking Connie Lou on a life-altering journey.

The program has a cast of six main characters and a choir.

“We get requests to perform in the same cities year after year. One of the greatest things about performing in those cities is seeing familiar faces that have been coming for years,” McLean told LDSLiving. “And we love performing in new cities and making new fans who become members of the Forgotten Carols family.”

Originally McLean performed all the parts and performed the music, but demand for the show grew and it blossomed into a major theatrical production.

Tickets for the Blackfoot and Idaho Falls shows can be found online at eventbrite.com.