A double dose of Dickens
Valley Theatre Groups Put on Classic Christmas Tale
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.
Alan Slipp, playing Ebenezer Scrooge, hits the stage with Centre Stage Theatre in Kentville this holiday season.
Santa Claus will be coming to Kings County at a number of upcoming events.