Tuesday, December 02, 2014

TOP STORY >> Christmas musical opens Friday

Leader staff writer

The Community Theatre of Cabot on Friday will open its new show “Rented Christmas the Musical” at its new location – the Starlite Dinner Theatre, 1102 S. Pine St., in the Heritage Plaza.

Times for dinner-and-show performances are this Friday and Saturday; Friday, Dec. 12 and Saturday, Dec. 13. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Catered dinners are served at 6:30. Shows start at 7:30.

A matinee show-only performance will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. A show-only performance will also be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7.

Ticket prices are $25 for adults for dinner and show or $15 for show only. Children are $15 for dinner and show or $10 for show only. For reservations, call 501-941-2266.

The nonprofit theater group recently moved from the Center Stage Playhouse in downtown on North First Street. The new location is roomier.

Director Joni Coats said, “The audience will have a much better experience with more viewing angles. There is not a bad seat in the house.”

Theater board member Bob Morris said, “This is a step up. We needed to grow. We had been there for seven years.”

Coats said the Cabot theater is encouraging development of the arts.

“The theater is an opportunity for children and adults to be involved,” he noted.

Cast members are from Cabot and Jacksonville. For past performances, actors have traveled from Benton and Searcy to participate.

“Rented Christmas” is about rich single businessman John Dale, who has not enjoyed Christmas in years. Dale decides he is going to “rent” a Christmas from Anne Weston, who owns the local rental store. The Christmas requires a tree with presents, Christmas carols and a wife with five children.

Anne calls the actors’ guild for the Christmas family, but the child actors get the measles. So Anne turns to the local orphanage. The guild cannot find a “mother,” and Anne plays that part.

The musical is heartwarming and is a roller coaster of emotion. The cast hopes the audience will laugh, cry and get in the Christmas spirit.

“Rented Christmas” is a newer musical and is similar to “Cheaper by the Dozen.” Coats said, “Every character is trying to make someone happy.

“It’s something you’d see in a Hallmark movie. Everyone becomes less selfish.”

The cast of “Rented Christmas” is Autumn Romines as Anne Weston, Seth Coats as John Dale, Bob Morris as Briggs, Catherine Roberts as Martha, Greg Stone as Jimmy and Emily Tripp as Jean.

Kailyn Rosenbaum plays Cynthia. There is Dustin Lauderdale as Willie, Reagan Helms as Lettie, Skylar Ward as Sarah Whitford, Micah Coats as Benjamin Whitford, Laura Harris as Mrs. Lindsey and Analisa Wilson as Danielle.

Turner Ward is Tom, and the Whitford children are played by Lily Guess, Carly Lauderdale and Gaunne Fox. The orphans are Jaklyn Stone, Ginaley Rogers and Peyton Reynolds.

Keith Renuard plays Father Christmas.