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A Story for Christmas

A Story for Christmas

Stories are important. At Acting Out Theatre Company, storytelling is what we do. One of the reasons we do environmental theatre is because we believe the setting can enhance the story we tell.

This year, Acting Out continues its tradition of compelling storytelling, in a perfect setting for the story of Christmas — Olivet’s Warming House — a ski lodge-style log cabin complete with lit Christmas trees and a roaring fire.

For “Acting Out Christmas: A Benefit Concert” we are focusing on Christmas music that has come from stories told on the stage, screen and classic literature.Acting Out Christmas poster

Some of the greatest Christmas music was originally written for a television show, a film, or for a Broadway musical. Did you know “Silver Bells” was written for an obscure 1951 movie called The Lemon Drop Kid? Or that “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” almost got cut from the MGM musical Meet Me In St. Louis?lemon-drop-kid-silver-bells

 The American Film Institute voted “White Christmas” the #5 movie song of all time. Though most people remember it from the film of the same name, it actually originated in Holiday Inn, a 1942 classic, pairing two of the greatest male entertainers in show business, Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.White-Christmas-1954-christmas-movies-3177202-960-536

In other cases, songs became associated with Christmas years after they were written, such as “My Favorite Things,” from The Sound of Music. Though not originally intended as a Christmas song, the descriptive, wintry lyrics encapsulate the childlike wonder of the season.sound-of-music

In television, A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas spawned “Christmastime is Here,” and “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch,” respectively, each now indelibly a part of the musical Christmas canon.charlie-brown-christmas-quotes-tofwpc24

Twenty-five years ago, a little movie called Home Alone made a big splash with perhaps one of the most enduring holiday soundtracks of all time. Pre-Harry Potter John Williams composed the score, and the theme “Somewhere in My Memory,” has become a Christmas classic for a new generation.home-alone-5

When the children’s book Polar Express became an animated feature film in 2004, Josh Groban’s “Believe” captured the magic and sentiment that every child felt when reading the book.hqdefault

Through unique melodies, instrumentation and rhythms, a song can enhance any emotion — joy, sadness, anger, fear. In all of these cases and more, music does just that, augmenting the story-line to new heights.

Of course, Christmas is a wonderful time to focus on storytelling, because of the Christmas story itself. The story of Christ’s birth is one that is perhaps best told through music, through songs like “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night.”1265167-bigthumbnail

 

Throughout the course of the night, we will touch on all of the above…and so much more. You will not want to miss this special evening, featuring your favorite songs from some of your favorite stories.
Hope to see you there!

by Luke Olney
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