‘Christmas on Angel Street’ opens today

"Christmas on Angel Street," presented by the Manistee Civic Players, opens at 7 p.m. tonight at Manistee High School. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

“Christmas on Angel Street,” presented by the Manistee Civic Players, opens at 7 p.m. tonight at Manistee High School. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — The Manistee Civic Players will once again bring Christmas cheer to the community – this year with the play “Christmas on Angel Street,” which also will include something different. 

“Because the play is only about a hour long, we’re offering a community talent showcase for about 45 minutes before the play. We’ve asked people to perform their favorite Christmas songs,” said Carol Burba, the play’s director.

Burba said performers singing and on instruments will include Ben Hengy, Dani Stansell, Sandy Saylor, Mary Paine, Cheryl Wolfram and Amanda Feyen.

The show will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 2 in Manistee High School Auditorium.

According to Burba, “Christmas on Angel Street,” a musical play written by Connie Cross Smith, is a parable reaffirming the true meaning of giving.

Throughout the course of the story, "Christmas on Angel Street" teaches the true gift of giving. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

Throughout the course of the story, “Christmas on Angel Street” teaches the true gift of giving. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

“It’s about an older brother and younger sister who are orphans living on their own,” Burba said. “The sister sees something she wants for Christmas in a store window. The older brother can’t afford it but wants to get it for her so he decides to steal a watch and start a life of crime.

“Of course in the end we all live happily ever after and learn about the true gift of giving.”

Joy Smith works with the cast as vocal director, Kathy Butler is the accompanist and Bonnie Brown is the assistant director, so Burba has an experienced team to work with, however many members of the cast are new.

Burba, who has been a part of the last seven Christmas productions for the Civic Players, said she is up to the challenge.

“They don’t call me Christmas Carol for nothing,” she said.

Last year she was on the cast of “Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” but for the other Christmas productions she’s been the director.

“It was definitely way less stressful being in the show,” she said. “All I had to worry about was my few puny little lines. When you’re directing, you’re in charge of pulling it all together into a polished package.”

Burba reminds residents that the show is for one weekend only, and it’s at Manistee High School.

In the musical "Christmas on Angel Street," siblings learn a valuable lesson during the holiday season. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

In the musical “Christmas on Angel Street,” siblings learn a valuable lesson during the holiday season. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

“We’re really thankful that Manistee High School welcomes us with open arms,” she said. “It’s a wonderful space to work in.”

Burba said the Civic Players tries to do plays at the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts when possible.

“A lot of people still don’t realize that we are an entity apart from the Ramsdell Theatre,” she added. “That was our home for many years, but our main function then as it is now is to give the community quality theater productions.”

Tickets for “Christmas on Angel Street” are available at the door or can be ordered in advance by calling (231) 723-7188.

Cast for “Christmas on Angel Street”

Jed – Andy O’Donnell

Cassie – Allison Ladd

Colonel – Phillip Smogoleski

Mr. Worthing – Dean Fischer

Katey Jo – Bella Sorenson

Lady on Music Box – Kennedy LaPoint

Clown – Owen Heintzelman

Ball – Olivia Rackow

Police Woman/Choral Director – Kathleen Smogoleski

Angel Street Gang

Toad – Billy Smogoleski

Worm – Christian Erlander

Fish – Fable Wisseman

Charlie – Elijah Lapan

Skip – Jeremiah Lapan

Willy – Nathan Erlander

Peddlers and Shoppers – Carson Salingue, Bridget Whitaker, Bonnie Brown, Gracie Pruyne, Louis Bennett, Joey Burba, Amelia Vasquez and Leslie Osborn

 

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