Craig: ‘A Fabulous 50’s Christmas’ plus more
By Bob Craig For Sun-Times Media December 11, 2013 4:08PM
Lauren Demerath (from left), Rachelyn Primm and Cornelia Miller star in Towle Theater's "A Fabulous 50's Christmas."
Updated: January 14, 2014 11:05AM
Towle Theater presents its annual holiday classic, “A Fabulous 50’s Christmas,” to Dec. 22 in downtown Hammond.
A holiday show that appeals to all ages and is filled with kitschy tidbits that harken to the sappy and sentimental holiday musical variety shows of the 1950s and ’60s, “ A Fabulous 50’s Christmas” is in its 11th year.
“I had no idea what the response would be the first year, but after the positive experience, I knew we should make it a annual event, show director Jeff Casey said.
“We have had audience members who see the show every year. We welcome you to treat your entire family to Hammond’s very own holiday tradition and make it one of yours.”
The show features a cast of five, a small orchestra combo and a few pieces of furniture that bring magic onstage.
“A Fabulous 50’s Christmas” captures the spirit and joy of Christmas just as the Perry Como and Andy Williams TV Christmas specials did from years gone by.
For Casey and the theater, the challenge each year is to reinvent the show.
Even though the title remains the same, the show will change depending on the cast members.
The Towle has featured as few as five cast members and as many as 12 ranging in ages from 7 to 85.
The cast members also bring their personal and individual talents to the show.
In the past, actors have tap-danced ad played the Autoharp, saxophone, guitar, harp and the list could go on.
Each year the song arrangements and commercials as well as the set and the costumes change to keep “A Fabulous 50’s Christmas” fresh.
This year’s cast includes Dan Ball, Lauren Demerath, Cornelia Miller, Rachelyn Primm and Ian Rigg.
The musical director for “A Fabulous 50’s Christmas” is Elizabeth Tuazon.
The Towle Theater is located in downtown Hammond at 5205 Hohman Ave. Information: (219) 937-8780 or towletheater.org.
At Crown Point Community Theatre to Dec. 22, the holiday offering is “Tiny Tim: A Christmas Carol Revisited.”
Written by Steve Rowell and based on the Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol,” “Tiny Tim: A Christmas Carol Revisited” follows a grown-up Tim Cratchit who has left his family in England and immigrated to New York City.
Although Tim has wealth and power, he has lost his humanity and his Christmas spirit.
The ghost of Tim’s Uncle Scrooge (yes, that Scrooge) shows up with the Spirits of Christmas in unique, distinctly American forms to take Tim on three quests to recapture his understanding of the comforts and joys of the season.
Directed by Matthew B. Byerly, the cast includes Josey Andrews, Joe Culley, Payton Heinemann, Larry Hinken, Lydia Hogan, Christopher Landers, Erin Mahns, Pat Pohrte, Hermine Robinson, Nick Samsone, Kenneth Siegfried, Mark Tobecksen and Colleen Zana.
Crown Point Community Theatre is at 1125 Merrillville Road (in the Jewel plaza). Information: (219) 805-4255 or cpct.biz.
‘Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol’
Another take on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” is “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” which is from Marley’s point of view.
The show is being staged to Dec. 15 at Beatniks on Conkey in Hammond.
Produced by the Hammond Community Theatre, the show is written by Tom Mula and directed by Earle and Betty Howe.
The cast includes Wayne Puchkors, Grant Fitch, Rich Wotkun, Donna Kuhn and Kali Rasala-Fitch.
Beatniks on Conkey is at 418 Conkey St., Hammond. Information: (888) 928-6648 or hammondcommunitytheatre.org.
Bob Craig is a local freelance writer.