Christmas Belles coming to Rockmart this weekend
Pete’s Backyard Players & the Rockmart Community Theatre proudly present Christmas Belles.
It’s Christmas-time in the Fayro, Texas, and the Futrelle Sisters—Frankie (Britt Hensley), Twink (Abby Avery) and Honey Raye (Kelly Gates)—are not in a Christmas festive mood. Frankie is weeks overdue with her second set of twins, and a very cranky mother to be.
Britt is a native of Hall County. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Education at Piedmont College in Demorest.
After college, “I spent a year traveling across the United States touring with the Missoula Children’s Theatre based out Missoula Montana.” She is now the Director of Theatre at East Paulding High School and has been for the past four years. Let’s meet the rest of the folks from Fayro, Texas and Pete’s Backyard Players.
Twink, recently dumped and more than bitter about it is in jail for burning down half the town trying to get even. Abby played Bob Cratchit in, A Christmas Carol, in the fifth grade (“hey, I had a short haircut”) to being in Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus, Dashing through the Snow, Christmas at Sweet Apple and now making her second appearance in Christmas Belles, “I love performing during the Christmas season.”
Honey Raye is failing miserably trying to keep the Tabernacle of the Lamb’s Christmas Program from turning into a chaotic fiasco while trying to control Hotflashes. Kelly found a love of community theater when she stumbled on a last-minute role of Vi Moore in the production of Footloose.
Since then, Kelly has participated in several community theater projects and even found herself in a supporting role in the independent film, “Broken Chain”. Kelly resides in Buchanan with her husband and daughter.
Who is Rhonda Lynn, (Chelci Deems)? Rhonda and Frankie have a secret that has been hidden for generations. Honey Raye and Twink will be shocked when they learn Frankie’s secret. “Who is this Rhonda Lynn?” Come to see the show. Chelci is a resident of Rockmart and works at Coosa Dental Associates in Cedartown.
Things are not looking too promising for Miss Geneva (Deliska “Dee” Bradley), either. She was the director of the previous twenty-seven productions, is ruthless in her attempts to take back her show. She has been ousted, overthrown by the Deacons at the Tabernacle of the Lamb.
Dee started acting in plays when she was in the third grade. She usually was cast in the lead roles because she was the tallest and oldest looking person in her class. Dee said she “was born and raised in Sweet Home Alabama but I have lived in Rockmart since 1988.”
The celebrity guest has been replaced with Santa Claus— played by Frankie’s suffering husband, Dub (Joshua Baines)— is trying to pass a kidney stone. Joshua has been involved with theatre since 2010. He is currently the Drama teacher and Director of Theatre at South Paulding High School.
One of the shepherds, Raynerd (Clark Willingham) refuses to watch over his flock by night without his little red wagon behind him. Local veteran community theater actor Clark Willingham has returned to the stage for this season’s production of Christmas Belles in Rockmart.
Clark is best known for his roles in many musicals in Cedartown including Reverend Shaw Moore in Footloose, Lun Tha in The King and I, Marrying Sam in L’il Abner, the lead role of Frederick in Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta The Pirates of Penzance, and portrayed himself in the smash hit Godspell.
Clark is no stranger to the Rockmart stage either, appearing there in the musical A Country Christmas Carol as Charley. Along with fellow cast member Kelly, he lent his talent for a radio project as Ed Mitchell in Yes, Virginia produced exclusively for WGAA radio in Cedartown.
Justin, (Oliver Merritt) is the Tabernacle of the Lamb’s new fresh out of seminary minister. His only desire at the moment, and for the past several months, is to marry Gina Jo (GJ), Barbara Jarrett. GJ is in love with Justin, however; hurtles must be jumped before she can answer the big question.
Oliver studied musical theatre at Piedmont College where he participated in numerous shows including South Pacific, Anything Goes, and Mother Hicks. He currently works as a bartender at the Mellow Mushroom in Hiram. Barbara is from Rockmart and currently resides in Cedartown with her husband and son.
Patsy, (Dondra Crawford) is a member of the upperclass social club and does not hesitate to voice her concerns about Honey Raye’s ability to direct the Christmas Program. She is the Snob of snobs. She’s just plain ugly to “poor sweet Raynerd.” Dondra played the role of the Reverend Mother in NUNSENSE in 2013.
Dondra has also performed in the Cedartown Junior Service League Follies since 2004. Dondra is the Clinical Services Manager with Redmond Occupational Health, and she lives in Rockmart with her daughter Jennifer.
The cast is dropping like flies due to food poisoning from the Band Boosters’ Pancake Supper. And when Frankie belted out the family secret that had been carefully guarded for decades, hope for a successful Christmas program just seems lost, even with John Curtis (Frank Harris), as an Elvis impersonator at the manger.
Frank was bitten by the acting bug at the tender age of 8, and has never recovered. Over the years, his favorite roles have included Mortimer in Arsenic and Old Lace; Jud in Oklahoma; and Willum in The Nerd. More recently, he has portrayed Sir Joseph in HMS Pinafore, and Grover Lout in The Last Roundup of the Guacamole Queens (which, just as in Christmas Belles, had him cast opposite his beautiful bride Abby).
But in true Futrelle fashion, the feuding sisters find a way to pull together in order to present a Christmas program the citizens of Fayro will never forget. These four sisters’ hilarious holiday journey through a misadventure-filled Christmas Eve is guaranteed to bring joy to your world! Oops, four sisters?
Opening night is this Friday, December 7, 2018. The curtain raises at 7:30 PM. Two shows are scheduled for Saturday, December 8th.
A matinee at 2:30 PM and an evening performance starting at 8:00 PM. Christmas final show is Sunday, December 9th at 2:30 PM.
Advance tickets can be purchased online at rcac. ticketleap.com/Christmasbelles, cast members, the Rockmart’s Cultural Arts Center (RCAC), 316 N Piedmont Avenue, Bldg. 300, Rockmart, Stop by Pirkle’s Deli at 306 Main Street, Cedartown, Monday through Saturday 11:00 AM—3:00 PM for lunch and tickets. RCAC will be open before and after the show on Saturday, December 8th.
Stop by before or after the show to see Susie Water’s hand-crafted life-size nativity on display at the Arts Center 316 N Piedmont Avenue, Building 300, Rockmart. The cast, director, and production team will be at the RCAC after the matinee.
Stop by and meet the cast.
The cast of “Christmas Belles” prepare in the Rockmart Arts Theater for upcoming shows this weekend.