Thursday, October 29, 2009

Westport Offers Holiday Special Events

The Broadway Boys
In celebration of the holiday season, Westport Country Playhouse announces a festival of eight special events, including concerts, dance, theater and films, beginning Dec. 5 and continuing on selected Thursdays through Sundays until Dec.20.

“What’s better than one holiday show? How about eight! This December, we’re delighted to present a wide array of holiday fare for our community,” said Michael Ross, Playhouse managing director. “There’s something for everyone and all affordably priced. I look forward to one and all visiting the Playhouse for their holiday entertainment.”

Ballet Etudes will present the seasonal family favorite, “The Nutcracker,” on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5 and 6, at 1 and 4 pm. With music by Tchaikovsky, the magical story features American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Michele Wiles and New York City Ballet soloist Arch Higgins. Tickets are $30 adults; $18 children.

This Wonderful Life, a one-man re-imagining of Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film, will be staged on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 8 pm. Mark Setlock, who starred in Rent and Fully Committed, will portray George Bailey, Clarence the Angel, Mary, Old Man Potter and 20 more of Bedford Falls’ finest citizens. The production is written by Steve Murray, conceived by Mark Setlock and directed by Martha Banta. Tickets are $25.

“A Christmas Story,” a delightful film about growing up in the 1940s and wanting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, will be screened on Friday, Dec. 11 at 8 pm. The movie stars Peter Billingsley and Melinda Dillon. Prior to the film at 6:30 pm., appetizers and specialty drinks will be served in the lobby, and guests will have a chance to win a campy Leg Lamp, as featured in the film. Tickets are $15.

Sing-a-long “White Christmas,” starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney---and for this special sing-a-long event, the audience!---will be screened on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 8 pm. The movie’s marvelous Irving Berlin score includes “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” “Mandy,” “Sisters,” “Snow,” “Gee I Wish I Was Back in the Army” and, of course, “White Christmas.” Tickets are $10.

“Miracle on 34th Street,” a comedy-fantasy film starring Maureen O’Hara and Natalie Wood, is set for Sunday, Dec. 13 at 3 pm. When Kris Kringle encounters an unbelieving child while working in Macy’s, he goes on trial to prove he’s truly Santa Claus. Prior to the film, there will be cookie decorating for kids in the lobby. Audience members are encouraged to bring a toy donation for charity and receive a free cookie. Tickets are $10

The Klezmatics, globally renowned world music superstars, will offer music steeped in Jewish tradition and spirituality on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 8 pm. Their album, “Wonder Wheel,” won the 2006 Grammy Award as the Best Contemporary World Music Album. In a career spanning over 20 years and nine albums, The Klezmatics’ holiday and non-holiday music is wild, mystical, provocative, reflective and ecstatically danceable. Tickets are $35.

Rondi Charleston, jazz vocalist, songwriter and Westport resident, will perform selections from her CD/DVD, “In My Life,” a melodic tapestry of jazz, pop, Brazilian and Great American Songbook influences, on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 8 pm. Ms. Charleston has performed at Lincoln Center, The Blue Note, Birdland and many other national venues. Ms. Charleston will present exciting new material from her forthcoming release as well as standards and jazz-themed holiday tunes. Tickets are $30.

The Broadway Boys, a collection of the hottest male voices currently working on the New York stage, will present a concert of Broadway and holiday favorites, on Sunday, Dec. 20 at 3 pm. Through their dynamic vocal prowess and redefining arrangements, The Broadway Boys add elements of pop, funk, gospel, jazz and folk to show tunes and classic pop songs. Tickets are $35.

Holiday events’ board of trustees partner is Darlene Krenz; production partners are Bank of America and Sun Products Corporation.

For more information or ticket purchases, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.westportplayhouse.org/.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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