W. Gibb – Leader staff
MORRISBURG – “Given the chance I could learn how to dance/like wildflowers in the wind./Given the chance I will shine.”
Those words taken from Claude Plamondon’s beautiful song, The Flower, certainly formed an underlying theme in the 2019 Community Living Dundas County production, A County Flavoured Christmas.
This original Christmas show, created and emceed by director Mary Ellen Viau, featured actors who clearly loved what they were doing and wanted to share their joy with the audience, an audience, incidentally, which literally packed Upper Canada Playhouse, Monday afternoon, December 16, 2019.
A Country Flavoured Christmas was the second such performance staged at Christmas time by the cast, all from Community Living Dundas County, supported by volunteers and staff.
Claude Plamondon performed the live music throughout the show.
The concert was put together in the rehearsal hall of the Playhouse over a period of several weeks. Artistic director Donnie Bowes, technical director Sean Free and other members of the Playhouse staff helped out during the show.
A Country Flavoured Christmas celebrated the “reason for the season,” the birth of Jesus, and also celebrated the well-loved, popular songs of the holidays from Jingle Bell Rock to Have A Holly Jolly Christmas. Cast member Linda joined Claude and led her fellow actors in the enthusiastic singing of almost every song.
During this unique and warm performance there were many memorable numbers.
Sara acted out the touching story of a special gift that was given to the baby in the manger. Later some exceptional, strikingly costumed “Snowflakes,” took to the stage to perform Let It Snow.
And what would a country Christmas be without some fancy foot work in a line dance? The cast did some great toe-tapping in Two Steps Round the Christmas Tree.
Later in the program, Will also danced a beautiful solo, in bowler hat and gloves, to Claude’s Mr. Bojangles.
Tim, in full Santa suit, jovially told the story, delightfully illustrated by all members of the cast, of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
The actors (led by director Viau) even shared some (groaner) holiday jokes.
“What did Mrs. Claus say to Santa when she looked out at the sky?’
“Looks like rein, deer.”
And what did the mathematical cow get for Christmas?
Why a cow-culator, of course!
Throughout the show, the entire audience laughed and often joined in the singing of the Christmas songs.
There were lots of smiles on both sides of the footlights during A Country Flavoured Christmas. At the end, the audience rose to its feet to give the performers, and their helpers, a well deserved standing ovation.
And in keeping with the spirit of the season, this production brought in five full shopping carts of goods for the Community Food Share, as well as $411 in donations.
Now, if we are all very lucky, the Community Living Dundas County players are already looking forward to Christmas 2020.