Christmas Cookies! The Musical – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

What better way to welcome the happy jolly season of Christmas then with a silver platter stacked with snow ball crinkles, candy cane cookies, rum balls, fruit cake bars, chocolate kisses, pinwheels and gingerbread men, or whatever confection rings your culinary bells. But what if your favorite bakery, Sweet’s, is facing hard times and the owner, Mrs Baker, a hard working Maria Berte, may be forced to end the generations of her family who have supplied the town of Mayfield with delicious treats.

Master chefs Bert Bernardi, for recipe book and clever lyrics, and Justin Rugg, for merry music, have concocted a delicious holiday surprise, with Pantochino Production’s “Christmas Cookies! The Musical.” The Milford Center for the Arts will be festooned in red and green and silver finery weekends until Saturday, December 23 and what an appetizing way to treat the family to some tasty fun.

For many years, Pantochino has been delivering original musicals and this one may be the most delectable ever. What do you do when a wonderful old-fashioned bakery falls on “crummy” times? A little girl Kris, a sweet Ella Bedenbaugh, writes a sincere letter to Santa asking for help and that assistance comes in the perfect package of a trio of gingerbread girls, Mary Mannix, Shelley Marsh Poggio and Rachelle Ianniello, who come to life to sing their way to save the bake shoppe. It doesn’t help that a villian Dexter Dell-Dubis, Jimmy Johansmeyer, the ambitious and meanly aggressive owner of a coffee empire wants to swoop in and buy the bakery for his own selfish desires, challenging the good intentions of George Spelvin’s Mister Kay and Justin Rugg’s Murray the Mailman.

Once again Jimmy Johansmeyer has gone fashionably wild to dress the cookie girls in holiday happiness, with colorful sets by Von Del Mar, sparkling lighting by Jeff Carr and smashing sound by Richard Ives, all under the careful care of stage manager Christina Ronquillo and cheerful direction by Bert Bernardi. Justin Rugg’s tunes like “Christmas Cookie Time,” “A Little Bit if Baking Powder,” The Best Little Bakery in Town,” and “This Christmas” make the action move happily along.

The ensemble cast also includes Wyatt Hughes, Katie Durham, Christy Chiaramonte, Valerie Solli, Aria Chiaramonte and Sydney Maher.

For tickets ($30), go online to or visit 40 Railroad Avenue South, Milford for performances Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. These are cabaret style with tables and chairs, so you can enjoy your own foods and drink during the show.

Come take a big bite out of this heavenly confection as a trio of adorable Christmas cookies Ginger, Blondie and Rosette come to the rescue in a most delicious and magically musical way.