Tickets Going Fast for Ensemble’s Christmas Variety Shows on Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Published Friday, December 18, 2015 at 1:32 pm

By Jessica Isaacs

The folks at Ensemble Stage invite you to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays at the 2015 installment of “Christmas in Blowing Rock” this weekend, Dec. 18-20. Nearly 75 percent of all tickets have been sold for each of the three performances and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so call or go online to get yours now!

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Christmas in Blowing Rock by Ensemble Stage

This evening of fun and music is inspired by the Andy Williams variety show, which ran in the late 1960s, and features an assortment of holiday classics, dancing and comedy sketches performed by topnotch local and regional artists.

The cast and crew include Kevin Warner, chair of Appalachian State’s theatre and dance department, as choreographer, professional lighting designer John Marty and Tweetsie Railroad Director of Entertainment Joe Clark, who is back as the host for the second year in a row.

“The women will all be in beautiful dresses and the guys will be in tuxedos. There will be a number of costume changes and our choreographer, Kevin Warner, has done a great job with it,” said Art Director Gary Smith. “Almost every song has a choreographed dance to go with it, so it’s like a mini-musical theater show during each one. He’s done a great job with that and Blake Pace, our musical director, has done the arrangements.”

Now in its sixth year of production in Blowing Rock, the show will be packed with back-to-back performances covering old and new Christmas tunes.

“We will have nearly 30 songs in the course of an hour, so it’s very fast-paced. There really won’t be any downtime between the numbers,” said Smith. “While one number is finishing up and the audience is applauding, the next number will be starting up.

“It covers every kind of genre, including secular, non-secular, old standards that people know and some newer Christmas songs that are little more obscure or aren’t heard that often. There on some funny songs and some highly spiritual songs.”

An exceptionally capable cast of 11 performers gave Smith a chance to push the envelope with this year’s show.

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Christmas in Blowing Rock by Ensemble Stage

“The great thing about this year is that we have the most talented cast we’ve ever had for our Christmas show, so we’re able to do things we’ve never been able to do before,” said Smith. “This year we’ll have the full Hallelujah chorus, which is a first for us. We’ve got such talented singers that we’re able to pull it off, and it’s quite good.”

“One of my favorites, which we have only been able to do one another time, is a Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy mix that David Bowie and Bing Crosby did back in the ’70s. The thought of those two doing a song together is odd in itself, but it’s a beautiful mix up of those two songs. Again, because of the talent in our cast this year, we are able to do it again.”

The show will also feature 11-year-old Payton Franklin in a ballet performance during the singing of Silent Night.

“She’s been training since she was 4 years old, so she really knows what she’s doing,” Smith said. “It’s really beautiful.”

See the show on Friday, Saturday or Sunday and get into the holiday spirit just in time for Christmas!

“This is like that old style variety show in that the people on stage are not just singing, but they’re singing and dancing at the same time,” said Smith. “They’re having a really good time on stage, and that filters over into the audience.”

The show will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, Dec. 18-19, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 20 at the Blowing Rock Auditorium, 160 Sunset Drive. Tickets are just $18 for adults and $9 for children/students ages 16 and under.

“Most theaters don’t do shows like this. Attendance increases for us every year and word is getting out that it’s really fun. The great thing is, it’s not very long, either,” Smith said. “After just 60 minutes, you walk out of there with a spring in your step while whistling a Christmas tune. It reenergizes you and gets you ready for that last big push of the holiday season.”

For tickets and more information on “Christmas in Blowing Rock 6,” call Ensemble Stage at 828-414-1844 or check out ensemblestage.com.

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Christmas in Blowing Rock by Ensemble Stage

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Christmas in Blowing Rock by Ensemble Stage

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Christmas in Blowing Rock by Ensemble Stage

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Christmas in Blowing Rock by Ensemble Stage

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Christmas in Blowing Rock by Ensemble Stage

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Christmas in Blowing Rock by Ensemble Stage

 

 

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