A dou­ble dose of Dick­ens

Val­ley The­atre Groups Put on Clas­sic Christ­mas Tale

Valley Journal Advertiser - - COMMUNITY - BY MIKE BUTLER EVENT

No­body loves the Hol­i­day Sea­son like I do! If you know me or you’ve vis­ited my work­place dur­ing the hol­i­days, then you’ve wit­nessed “Hol­i­day Mike” in ac­tion and it’s se­ri­ously sim­i­lar to the movie Elf - with­out the yel­low tights!

Al­though the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of Christ­mas and the very early TV Ads and store dis­plays get on my ever-lov­ing nerves, I still find im­mense joy in the hol­i­day sea­son. Once Re­mem­brance Day has passed and we dip into mid­late Novem­ber, I feel the hol­i­day sea­son can com­mence and what bet­ter way to get into the spirit of the hol­i­days then a Christ­mas mu­si­cal fea­tur­ing lo­cal ac­tors and ac­tresses!

The clas­sic story of Charles Dick­ens’ A Christ­mas Carol is hit­ting the stage in mu­si­cal form, per­formed by two Val­ley com­mu­nity the­atre groups. Of course, noth­ing will ever top the black and white Alis­tair Sims Christ­mas Carol film, but these two amaz­ing and com­pletely dif­fer­ent mu­si­cal pro­duc­tions will cer­tainly cat­a­pult you into hol­i­day mode.

Cen­trestage The­atre in Kentville presents Scrooge: The Mu­si­cal star­ring lo­cal ac­tor Alan Slipp as the penny-pinch­ing Ebenezer Scrooge. With a cast of two dozen val­ley ac­tors and ac­tresses (of all ages) - in­clud­ing Keigan Richard, Aaron Kane, Dav­ina Me­lan­son, Marc Char­rier, Jilly Richard, Jennifer Mac­Don­ald, Don Muise, Me­lanie Clouthier Cole­man, Breagh MacLean, Lon­don Cross, Jane Mail­let, Keira Me­lan­son, Bran­don Tay­lor, Isa­iah Vallillee, Cedric Van Exel, So­phie Van Exel, Agatha Bourassa, Char­lotte Crouch, Beth Irvine, Hai­ley Kane, Heike Landry, J.Richard Richard and Tim Vallillee - this de­light­ful mu­si­cal will have you tap­ping your toes and clap­ping your hands through­out. Di­rec­tor Thea Bur­ton, no stranger to di­rect­ing big mu­si­cals, has crafted a beau­ti­fully staged pro­duc­tion with in­ter­est­ing set pieces and mu­si­cal num­bers.

Scrooge! Is writ­ten by ac­claimed mu­si­cian Les­lie Bri­cusse and it will be on stage Fri­days and Satur­days be­gin­ning Nov. 3 and run­ning un­til Dec. 8. Doors open at 6:45 p.m., with shows at 7:30 p.m. Mati­nees are on Nov. 12, 26, Dec. 3, with doors open­ing at 1:15 p.m. and shows start­ing at 2 p.m. Tick­ets are $15 for adults, $12 for se­niors/stu­dents and $5 for chil­dren 12 and un­der. Cen­treStage takes cash or cheques only. Reser­va­tions are hold un­til 15 min­utes be­fore show time and it is strongly rec­om­mended you call 902-678-8040 for reser­va­tions. Visit www.cen­trestageth­e­atre.ca for in­for­ma­tion about up­com­ing shows and au­di­tions.

Scrooge in Windsor

Also get­ting into the hol­i­day spirit of past, present and fu­ture is Quick as a Wink The­atre So­ci­ety in Windsor, with its pro­duc­tion of A Christ­mas Carol: The Mu­si­cal, fea­tur­ing the clas­sic Dick­ens’ nar­ra­tive with com­pletely dif­fer­ent mu­sic as Scrooge: The Mu­si­cal. Fea­tur­ing an­other stel­lar cast of over three-dozen lo­cal ac­tors, A Christ­mas Carol: The Mu­si­cal fea- tures mu­sic by Academy Award­win­ning com­poser Alan Menken (The Lit­tle Mer­maid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast) and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. This spec­tac­u­lar adap­ta­tion of Charles Dick­ens’ most well-known story, un­der the di­rec­tion of Mark Wain­man, with mu­si­cal di­rec­tion by Ka­t­rina Sal­mon, is sure to be a must-see hit.

A Christ­mas Carol: The Mu­si­cal fea­tures pow­er­house ac­tor Steve Roe as Scrooge, and the three ghosts are played by Olivia Lee, Lo­gan Levesque, and Francesca Cor­netta. Sup­port­ing ac­tors in­clude Brian and Ch­eryl Mac­Don­ald, David Fo­ley, Dy­lan Sal­mon, Justin Brown, Han­nah Moore, and Max Cole and many more.

Shows will take place at Foun­tain Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre of King’s-Edge­hill School in Windsor, Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9 at 7 p.m., with spe­cial mati­nees on Dec. 2, 9,and 10 at 2 p.m. Tick­ets can be pur­chased on­line at QAAW.ca or by vis­it­ing Mo­saic Mar­ket in Windsor and The Box of De­lights Book Shop in Wolfville. This is a fam­ily-friendly, hol­i­day must-see show you don’t want to miss.

Quick As A Wink The­atre So­ci­ety and Cen­trestage The­atre are non-profit, char­i­ta­ble, com­mu­nity the­atre groups en­ter­tain­ing West Hants, Nova Sco­tia and be­yond. Their ob­jec­tives and per­for­mances are con­ducted and achieved en­tirely by vol­un­teers and non-profit means and for years they’ve never steered their pa­trons wrong with their pro­duc­tions. En­joy the shows and the prepa­ra­tion for a safe and happy hol­i­day sea­son!

Christ­mas is right around the cor­ner and the Val­ley is full of many events to help get you into the hol­i­day spirit.

The first event is the Kentville Torch-Light Pa­rade hap­pen­ing on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m.

“We do call it a pa­rade,” says Gil­lian Yorke from Kentville’s recre­ation de­part­ment. “But if we’re be­ing tech­ni­cal, it’s more like a com­mu­nity walk with glow sticks.”

Ev­ery­one is wel­come to gather around the recre­ation cen­tre, says Yorke, and the pa­rade leaves at 6:15 p.m., wrap­ping its way around the cen­tre block end­ing in Cen­tre Square for the of­fi­cial count down and light­ing. Al­though some peo­ple opt to watch from the side­walk, more and more peo­ple join in for the walk around the streets.

New this year, the Pri­mary stu­dents at KCA will be cre­at­ing their own Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions at school.

“We will be col­lect­ing the or­na­ments and invit­ing fam­i­lies to come and find their beau­ti­ful cre­ations at the recre­ation cen­tre dur­ing the evening of the 17th so we can dec­o­rate our newly planted blue spruce tree out front,” says Yorke.

It’s a great way to wel­come those new-to-school fam­i­lies into the com­mu­nity, she says.

Fol­low­ing the pa­rade and light­ing cer­e­mony, ev­ery­one is wel­come to come for a free skate at the arena from 7-8 p.m.

The fol­low­ing night, on Nov. 18, is the an­nual New Mi­nas Ro­tary Pa­rade of Lights. The pa­rade runs along Com­mer­cial Street, be­gin­ning at Cres­cent Drive and end­ing at the RBC en­trance of County Fair Mall.

“Fire­works will take place once Santa Claus en­ters the mall, shoot­ing off from the ‘fair­grounds’ (the va­cant lot that hosts the fair every Ap­ple Blos­som week­end),” says John An­sara, di­rec­tor of recre­ation and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment for New Mi­nas.

The pa­rade gen­er­ally takes about 45 min­utes to an hour and cul­mi­nates with the fire­works dis­play and chil­dren meet­ing Santa Claus in County Fair Mall, says An­sara.

Sobeys will hand out re­fresh­ments to the chil­dren as they wait in line for Santa.

Then, on the week­end of Nov. 24 to 26, Ber­wick will host its an­nual Santa Claus Cel­e­bra­tion, start­ing on Fri­day with a tree light­ing cer­e­mony at the town hall from 6-7:30 p.m. The Band Swig will be play­ing Christ­mas mu­sic and there will be hot ap­ple cider and ac­tiv­i­ties for the chil­dren.

The pa­rade lines up at Grand View Manor, leav­ing at 6:30 p.m. and pro­ceed­ing north on Com­mer­cial Street to town hall.

“It’s free but folks are wel­come to bring a food­bank do­na­tion,” says Ber­wick recre­ation co­or­di­na­tor, Carol Boy­lan-Hartling, who has been help­ing with the event for the past 18 years.

Other events over the week­end in­clude a Christ­mas lun­cheon, chilli sup­per, free skat­ing, cup­cake dec­o­rat­ing, hay and wagon rides, and much more.

“I love Christ­mas and it’s a great way to kick off the sea­son,” says Boy­lan-Hartling.

WILD LUPIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Alan Slipp, play­ing Ebenezer Scrooge, hits the stage with Cen­tre Stage The­atre in Kentville this hol­i­day sea­son.

FILE

Santa Claus will be com­ing to Kings County at a num­ber of up­com­ing events.

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