Artists in Action: Concerts, programs and auditions brighten season
Dec 15, 2013 | 1151 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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“Celebrate the Child” is the title of Parker Memorial Baptist Church’s concert this evening, proclaiming the reason behind our Christmas joy.

The celebration theme is echoed in two different ways in two other events today. In CAST’s final performance of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” little Gladys Herdman (Ramsey Whitney) declares “the newborn Jesus is in the barn … and we should go see him,” while Golden Springs Baptist Church offers spiritual renewal for all with “Living Nativity” at the Oxford Performing Arts Center.

Later this month, the mood shifts to a party atmosphere with CAST’s “Merry Little Christmas” holiday dinner theater at Garfrerick’s Café. Then, it’s back to theater business with auditions for the February production of “The 39 Steps.”

‘Celebrate’ tonight with Parker Memorial

As the story unfolds through music and a monologue in “Celebrate the Child,” it will be like slowly unwrapping a brightly colored Christmas gift, one to be treasured.

The choirs will perform songs both familiar and new to the ear, and the church’s orchestra, directed by Don Gober, will play “A Christmas Festival” and “Sleigh Ride,” both by Leroy Anderson. This composer has been called “master of the miniature,” in reference to his well-known short, light concert pieces.

Mary’s monologue will be delivered by Pell City High School senior Tori Roper. Chip Howell serves as narrator.

Golden Springs Baptist presents ‘Living Nativity’

Golden Springs Baptist Church’s annual Christmas program has drawn large crowds in recent years, according to minister of music Ray Lloyd. To accommodate the expanding audience, this year’s program will be at Oxford Performing Arts Center, tonight at 6. The hand bells sound at 5:45 p.m. before the student, adult and children’s choirs will take the stage.

“The music, actors, the manger and the soloists all combine for a beautiful live presentation,” Lloyd said. Soloists will be Katlynn Ross and Lloyd. As an added treat, “Hubbard’s Off Main,” a new restaurant on the same street as the performance center, will be open before and after the presentation serving coffee and dessert.

CAST auditions for comedic mystery production

Needed for the cast of “The 39 Steps” are one leading lady, age 25 to 35 in appearance, and three males — one leading man and two character actors.

Auditions for the CAST production will be Dec. 28 at 3 p.m. at Anniston’s First Presbyterian Church. The mystery comedy, a man-on-the-run type thriller with fast-moving scenes, is a humorous treatment of the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name. The play is scheduled to run Feb. 6-16.

CAST productions typically show at McClellan Theatre, but the venue for “Steps” will be the Foothills Theatre at McClellan, formerly Zannie Theatre on Buckner Circle.

“This is a smaller and more intimate theater, and a perfect setting for a mystery,” said Kim Dobbs, CAST artistic director. Added scenic designer Brooke Hunter: “The Hitchcock film premiered in 1935, and this theater has that type of historic feel to it.”

Loosely based on 1915 adventure novel “The Thirty-Nine Steps” by John Buchan, Hitchcock’s film is about a London man who tries to help a counterespionage agent take on an organization of spies known as the 39 Steps. When the agent is killed and he stands accused of the murder, he goes on the run to save himself and stop the spy ring from stealing top secret information.

Anyone interested in being involved in the production is welcome.
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