‘Once Upon A Christmas’ Set For Weekend

The spirit of the holiday season is set to come early for area residents who attend the next production at Lucille Ball Little Theatre.

“Once Upon A Christmas,” written and directed by Helen Merrill, will debut at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown. Two more performances are scheduled for Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. The show features 36 Junior Guilders, comprised of 7-16 year olds, and 16 members of Children Sing, who are 5-8 year olds.

“I think it’s going to start the audience’s Christmas season off right – it’s about love and peace,” Merrill said. “When they leave they are going to have cried because there are some very touching moments in the show, they are going to have laughed because there is some comedy and they will have been brought back to when they were children.”

According to Merrill, the show begins with two characters, Christmas Past and Christmas Future, who come to find that there is a nonbeliever in Jamestown.

“Three kids are having a sleepover, and they are talking about Christmas – and one of them is the ‘bah humbug’ one,” Merrill said. “When they fall asleep they are visited by the sugarplum fairy, a group of fairies who do a dance, white mice and then a snow angel with 16 snowflakes who sing a song about the snow.”

The show continues with one child waking up to go to the bathroom while the other two remain dreaming. The two children still in the land of dreams visit the North Pole, where they meet reindeer, Santa Claus, played by Harry Glatz, Mrs. Claus, played by Patti Dechow, elves, a grinch, a snow queen and more.

“There’s a real twist, and I think the audience is going to get a kick out of it when they find out,” Merrill said.

The set and props, which were designed by Merrill, were created by Jason Dorman and Melissa Vullo, who are standing in for Norm Merrill as he is recovering from hip surgery. The parents of the two groups also helped with costumes. The show is choreographed by Tiffany Wakeley Heintzman. Becca Young is the assistant for Children’s Sing. Lucille Miller is the accompanist for both groups, and Basil Getz plays drums.

Not only does the show serve as a fundraiser for the Junior Guilders, but it also gives the children involved the opportunity to get a feel for the stage.

“It’s like a recital for them,” Merrill said. “Each child has an opportunity to sing something. I hope the children grow through this experience in confidence in their performance, responsibility and discipline. Coming to this event is an opportunity to support us, because it’s events such as this that keep us going.”

The Junior Guilders have been entertaining Jamestown area residents since 1983. As a volunteer organization, the program is offered at no cost to its members. For more information, visit www.juniorguilders.weebly.com.

General admission is $10, and $5 for students, seniors and theater members. The Lucille Ball Little Theatre is located at 18 E. Second St. in Jamestown. For more information, call 483-1095 or visit lucilleballlittletheatre.org.