Christ­mas Belles coming to Rock­mart this week­end

The Standard Journal - - LIFESTYLE - From press re­lease

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.

/ Con­trib­uted by Dan Guinn

The cast of “Christ­mas Belles” pre­pare in the Rock­mart Arts The­ater for up­com­ing shows this week­end.

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