Never Too Old For the Holidays
Celebrate the season with song & dance!
STORY BY: JEFFREY STITES
The performing arts are never more alive in the Southport area as during the winter holidays. With the tourist mostly gone home, we love to welcome the season, as folks have been doing for hundreds of years. Our area is rich in home-grown and transplanted talent, and there is no better time to appreciate that bounty than now.
From the Historic Amuzu Theater in downtown Southport to Brunswick Little Theatre’s new home just up 133 to the beautiful Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College, a celebration of local talent is just minutes away over the next two months.
Your first chance to be entertained is coming up later this month as the Brunswick Little Theatre presents “Too Old For The Chorus, But Not Too Old To Be A Star” at their home theatre at 8068 River Road SE, Southport. The show opens Friday, November 18 and runs three weekends, taking off the weekend of Thanksgiving. Evening performances are on November 18 and 19, and December 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 7:30 pm. Matinees are offered November 19 and 20 and December 11 at 3:00 pm. Doors open a half hour prior to show time with the box office opening a half hour before that. Tickets are $20 for
adults, $12 for students and are available online at www.brunswicklittletheatre.com , at Ricky Evans Gallery in Southport and at Sugar Confections Bakery in Shallotte. The Brunswick Little Theatre seats approximately 100 in comfort with good views all around. Some shows, especially matinee performances, will likely sell out, so while some tickets may be available at the door, it’s best to buy ahead.
Director Debbie Skillman describes Too Old For The Chorus, But Not Too Old To Be A Star as “a musical revue in a cabaret style that is funny, smart, and at times a touching exploration of the challenges of aging.”
She says, “I liken it to a coming of age story for those who have reached middle age. The revue is set in their neighborhood coffee shop and features a cast of five, three men and two women. Over the course of the show the friends share the full range of frustrations and joys that come with aging through dialogue and song.”
The show features a wide range of musical styles, Skillman says, running the gamut from bossa novas to sambas, ragtime to doo wop, rock to rap, and bluesy ballads to swing. The cast consists of gentlemen Rick Depetris, Tom Scribner and Geoff Gersen, joined by ladies Barbara Wood and Karri Copton. Skillman says her cast is a mix of locals and new residents with a varied experience in musical theatre.
“Three of the cast members just moved to Brunswick County in May of 2016. One has lived in Southport for 3 years and one has lived in Wilmington for twelve years. Three of cast the members are pursuing an interest they had in their youth but put aside to raise children and devote to careers, much like the characters in the show they are re-inventing themselves. Two of them are veterans of the stage and have performed in community theater groups in both Fort Wayne, Indiana and Wilmington, NC. Four of the cast members are new to Brunswick Little Theatre,” she says.
Also drawing from locals and transplants from all walks of life is the annual holiday show at Southport’s Historic Amuzu Theatre, Christmas at the Amuzu 2016.
Christmas at the Amuzu features a cast of 17 vocalists backed by a five-piece band. This year’s show will include an all new collection of fun holiday favorites guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit! This year Laura Furpless, daughter of Amuzu Theatre owner Bill Furpless, will be directing with her mother, and Bill’s wife, Kathy playing keyboards. Amuzu events are family affairs!
If you’d like to join the Amuzu family in Christmas celebrations, you’ll want to act fast. Tickets for these, and most Amuzu shows, tend to sell out rather quickly. Tickets are $20 cash or check, and are available now at Ricky Evans Gallery in Southport and Color Me Carolina, just north of the airport on Long Beach Road.
Christmas at the Amuzu 2016 will take to the stage for two weekends, December 2-4 and 8-11. Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are evening performances beginning at 7:30 pm, while Sunday matinees begin at 3:00 pm.
“It’s Almost Christmas” With The Sea Notes– No Christmas in Southport would be complete without a Sea Notes Christmas concert. The Sea Notes are an all-volunteer, no-profit choral society that, according to it’s mission statement, “ exists so that its members may experience the joy of singing great choral music and the satisfaction of singing it as well as possible.” Founded in 1974 as part of the Southport’s national Bicentennial celebration preparations, the Sea Notes holiday shows have become a staple.
This year’s offering, “It’s Almost Christmas,” is directed by long-time Sea Notes member Dianne Hoffman, who has been directing shows, including several Christmas shows, for 15 years. Selections will include both sacred and secular favorites as well as a few sing-a-long numbers.
“It’s Almost Christmas” will run one weekend only, Saturday December 3 and Sunday December 4 at the Odell William- son Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College. Both shows are matinees at 3:00 pm. Sea Notes performances are free to the public, with donations gladly accepted. Tickets are not required for admittance, but will be available for free at the Odell Williamson Auditorium box office beginning November 10. Ticket holders will receive priority seating.