December’s always a great month
December is only two more sleeps away and for me that means that I get to sing carols and seasonal songs without being given a look like I’m jumping the gun.
It’s time to start putting twinkly lights up and planning the month ahead in more detail because it is going to be a busy one.
Thank you Christmas spirit for the magic that will begin to unfold. I think I have always loved this time of year; something supernatural happens when people look beyond the reality of the cold, slushy, expensive commercial bits, and instead, invite themselves to feel its actual spirit.
Yes, I believe in the Spirit of Christmas. December is full of the beauty of light and love we can bring into our life. You can choose to be stressed or you can choose to let the small stuff go and be peaceful this holiday season. If you don’t find it in your heart, you will never find it under a tree.
Tonight is the opening of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Kelowna Actors Studio. The whole run is practically sold out in advance, which is a clear indication to me that I’m not the only one in this town who feels excited about this season.
My role in this three-week run is Betty Haynes, the older but less boy-savvy sister to Judy, who is a flirty ball of energy and ambitious to the core.
I usually would be reviewing this theatre production, but instead I will write about it next week on how it feels to be in a show with such high audience expectations.
I will already tell you that our cast is very generous and loving with hard-working talent. I am counting my blessings.
————— Also tonight, Bumbershoot Theatre is hosting The Many Faces Of Words — Open Mic, with creative writing students from UBC Okanagan. Guest poets include Fionncara MacEoin, Erin Hiebert and Melissa Weiss. The MC is Erin Scott.
This is a free event to attend and if you would like to participate, you are asked to sign up upon arrival — or test the waters first and get another chance at intermission.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event begins at 6.30 p.m. The theatre is located at 1295 Cannery Lane.
Friday night is a concert that I don’t want to miss — it’s the Lent/Fraser/Wall Trio with Andrew Smith, performing at the Royal Anne Hotel on Bernard Avenue. This musical trio describes themselves as a hybrid of jazz, blues and folk. Those who are fans of the style of Django Reinhardt will hear this distinctive technique and unique sound that has the French flair of gypsy jazz, aka Manouche.
Neil Fraser, John Lent and Shelby Wall are seasoned professional musicians and it’s a treasure to have them perform in a concert situation where the audience quietly sits to hear and understand what years of experience and knowing your instrument intimately actually sounds like.
Pair that with Andrew Smith on vocals, who is a true troubadour and has played and performed all over the world. A singer songwriter with a captivating tap-style guitar sound, he has received many accolades for his musicianship and as an award-winning music producer.
Individually their musical pedigree is rich in experience and I hope that my few words written give them a well-deserved full house. Tickets are $25 cash at the door and the show begins at 7:30 p.m.
————— On Saturday night, marvel at a choir of over 40 voices when the Okanagan Festival Singers perform the well-loved Christmas Oratorio by J.S. Bach.
Conducted by Leroy Wiens, the choir will be accompanied by the rich sounds of the Okanagan Festival camerata orchestra under Nancy DiNovo.
This was one of three oratorios composed for the major festivals of the church year and was written for performance in Leipzig on the six feast days of Christmas 1734.
The beautiful text is based on the Nativity according to St. Luke and St. Matthew, and Bach created this moving work using existing secular music he had written earlier.
This music embraces the customary mixture of soprano, alto, tenor and bass with rousing choruses,
florid arias and declamatory recitatives, rounded out by a magnificent virtuoso trumpet.
Soloists include Sinead White, Jardena Gertler-Jaffe, Kaden Forsberg and Nathan McDonald. This concert is taking place at the Kelowna’s Willowstone Academy, 4091 Lakeshore Rd. Tickets are $30 or $15 for students and available at kelownatickets.com, call the boxoffice at 250-862-2867 or visit them at their Orchard Park shop.
Doors open 6:30 p.m. performance at 7:30 p.m.
Mission Dance Company once again presents its annual favourite — The Nutcracker. This ballet has dancers of all ages and abilities from MDC and is creatively choreographed by producer and artistic director Tanya Bakala.
The main evening production is on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Evangel Church, 3261 Gordon Dr. Tickets are $25/$10.
Go to missiondancecentre.com to find online links to Eventbrite or get tickets at the door. For more information, call 250-764-2222. There is also a matinee at 2 p.m.
Sunday and Monday at the Rotary centre for the Arts, I dare you to not have a fabulous time with James & Jamesy’s: O Christmas Tea. This comedy duo has won and received shed-loads of accolades and prizes for their physical comedy shows and this one is no exception as it celebrates our childlike excitement for merriment. Tickets: $34/$30/$19 through the Rotary Centre for the Arts box office. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.
Anna Jacyszyn is an awardwinning jazz singer. Email her at email@example.com.