Morrow Little Theatre entertains with Christmas program
By Alberta Stojkovic
The joy and beauty of Christmas came to Mount Gilead last Friday and Saturday with the music of the Morrow Little Theatre program and dinner in cooperation with the Trinity C.I.C. Class. This year “Christmas in the Village” centered the theme on a radio program script. Ken Barnett opened the program and invited guests to enjoy their dinner that included ham loaf, cheesy potatoes and green beans with homemade rolls, Jello salad and cake for dessert.
Host for the imagined Christmas radio program was Carl Schaefer, also known as “the mellow fellow from Candlewood Lake.” Schaefer introduced Jon Hickman who sang “White Christmas”, one of several songs in tribute to singer, Bing Crosby. Highlights from Bing Crosby followed throughout the first act. One crowd pleaser was “The Little Drummer Boy” from Bing Crosby’s 1977 Christmas TV Special. It was sung by Ken Barnett and John Wallis.
Jeff Rocks on the drums added a jazzy beat to several songs in both acts. His drums picked up the beat in “Jingle Bell Rock” with the kids chorus and added fun to “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” and other songs.
The kids’ chorus, directed by LeAnne Gompf, got lots of applause and enthusiastic comments all evening. They sang out with confidence and brought many smiles to the audience. Sophia Thompson’s clog routine was a show stopper.
Mount Gilead High School music teacher, Randy Mann opened the second act with his “Sister Julia Child” role. He kept the crowd laughing as he mixed up a recipe with a good helping of brew.
One highlight followed another in the second act. John Lennon’s “That’s why there’s Christmas” with Mike Petee and Desmond Wall on the guitar was followed by a tender song with Betsy Anderson, “A baby changes everything.” Mandy Rocks continued the emotional mood with “Who could imagine a king?” and LeAnne Gompf brought tears to many eyes with “Bethlehem morning.”
Jim and Betsy Anderson’s duet of “Light in the Stable” brought strength to the program as they sang out Halleluiahs. LeAnne and Mandy brought in more emotion with their duet “Mary, Did you know?” Amy Barr and the chorus closed the program with “Because it’s Christmas and invited the audience to join in singing “Silent Night.”
Ken Barnett acknowledged Kristi Bulkowski for much work on the silent auction. She found sponsors for the 26 gift baskets in the silent auction and did much of the work assembling the baskets and items for the auction. The $897 raised by the auction will be given to families in need at Christmas. The Rosemary Brown family and Gompf Funeral Service were also recognized for their sponsorship of the evening.
Pianist for the program was Becky Shipman. The chorus included: Betsy Anderson, Jim Anderson, Wayne Au, Amy Barr, Ken Barnett, LeAnne Gompf, Farrah Gregg, Logan Gregg, Jon Hickman, Randy Mann, Mike Petee, Joey Powell, Pamela Ritchey, Annie Robertson, Amanda Robinson, Mandy Rocks, Carl Schaefer, Michelle, Thompson, Sophia Thompson, John Wallis, Desmond Wall.
The children’s chorus included Jayden Ritchey, Cheyenne Ritchey, Mikenzee Clapper, Meaghan Clapper, Greer Simpson, Evan Johnson, Taylor Robinson, Makenna Oates, Sophia Thompson and Penny Cranston.