musical direction by Jon Lorenz
A diverse group of travelers finds themselves stranded by an unexpected snowstorm. They all make their way to a cabin in the woods and create a celebration by sharing music and stories. Surprising, fun and refreshing - the performance includes a beautiful blend of original music and traditional favorites.
running time: 2 hours & 10 minutes, including a 15 minute Intermission.
age appropriate: The entire family will enjoy FESTIVAL. 5 years and up.
Bryan's credits at Lamb’s Players include WIT, Around the World in 80 Days, The Music Man, The Book of the Dun Cow, The Glory Man, Harvey, An American Christmas, Godspell, The Fantasticks, Hello, Dolly!, Mix it Up and Hip Pocket (Lamb’s Educational Outreach) Regional: Man of La Mancha & Parade (Cygnet Theatre), The Threepenny Opera (Crooked Finger Jake), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Judah), Sideshow (Jake), and Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey 2). Bryan now works full time as lead singer of The Routine, a Rock N' Roll band based in San Diego. You can find them at www.Theroutineband.com
Joanne Barber (Parker) is excited to share in the holiday celebration in her debut in Festival of Christmas. She has been active in theatre since she was eight, with some of her favorite roles including "Becky" (Adventures of Tom Sawyer), "Violet Beauregarde" (Willy Wonka), and "Mrs. Beaver" (Narnia). She has performed with JCompany in Xanadu, Junior Theatre's recent production of The Sound of Music, as well as CYT's Annie Get Your Gun, Honk, Anne of Green Gables, Cinderella, and Jungle Book. Joanne has also performed at Knott’s Berry Farm, Irvine Spectrum, and Seaport Village.
An Associate Artist, Season has performed in over 30 productions with Lamb's Players Theatre. Some of her favorite shows include The Light in the Piazza (Clara), Into the Woods(Little Red), The Secret Garden (Martha), Smoke on the Mountain (Denise), The Hit (Samm), Pump Boys and Dinettes (Prudie), Godspell, Steel Magnolias (Anelle), and many Festival of Christimas productions. Season is currenlty pursuing her Masters of Arts in Theology at Bethel Seminary and loves teaching voice lessons and mentoring young people. This year brings lots of new and wonderful gifts into her life and the greatest blessing of all is her new husband Kris and the girls, Aubrey, Alana and Aireana.
Remy is delighted to be a new addition to the Lambs family and excited to spend the 2012 holiday season with the cast and crew of Christmas on My Mind. She has appeared as Cindy Lou Who in the Old Globe's Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas ('10/'11) as well as Molly in Annie and Bielke in Fiddler on the Roof at Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista. When not acting, singing or dancing, Remy loves shooting hoops with her brothers, teaching tricks to her dog and making silly videos with her friends.
Anton is stoked to experience Christmas at Lambs for the third year in a row. He is almost passing for a San Diego local since his relocation from NYC 3 years ago. He is a proud husband of a local gal and they've enjoyed raising their first mini-Fero and are looking forward to #2 in April 2015. Anton is currently the Associate Pastor at Catalyst Church SD downtown. catalystchurchsd.org Tours: Altar Boyz, Little Women, 12 Irish Tenors. SD: SDMT-Footloose, Lambs-Mixtape, Guys and Dolls, Fiddler, Festival of Christmas. As cliche as it sounds, he truly wants to give all the acclaim to Jesus Christ.
David Kirk Grant
David is quite honored to be joining LPT for his 4th production. Past shows at Lambs are Pump Boys and Dinettes ( Jim), Smoke On The Mountain ( Burl Sanders) , and The Music Man ( Charlie Cowell/ Harold Hill u/s ). David’s National touring credits include - 42nd Street (Julian Marsh) and The Music Man (Charlie Cowell/ Harold Hill), H.M.S. Pinafore (Dick Dead-Eye), The Pirates of Penzance (The Pirate King),and a New Zealand production of The Secret Garden (Dr. Craven) . San Diego credits include : Parade ( Hugh Dorsey) and Man Of La Mancha ( Governor / Innkeeper ) at Cygnet Theatre, The Great American Trailer Park Musical ( Norbert) at SD REP, 42nd Street (Julian Marsh) ,I I Do ! I Do! (Michael ), Oklahoma! (Ali Hakim), Annie Get Your Gun (Buffalo Bill), Chess (Walter Anderson), Evita (Juan Peron), Footloose (Rev. Shaw Moore), The Spitfire Grill (Caleb Thorpe) and Company (Peter). . David can occasionally be spotted in ALADDIN ( JAFAR @ Disney's California Adventure). He recently was a co-star on NBC'c THE OFFICE. David is a proud member of SAG and Actors’ Equity Association.
Cris is delighted to return to Lamb's stage after a successful run of "The Foreigner". More recent projects include: Chasing The Song (workshop), Midsummer Night’s Dream (La Jolla Playhouse); The Odd Couple (North Coast Rep); Respect (Act II Productions); Moonlight & Magnolias (Scripps Ranch); Footloose (SDMT); Festival of Christmas (Lamb’s Players), and Legally Blonde (Moonlight Stage). He is also a voiceover artist for clients such as Proctor & Gamble, SDCCU, DARPA, Jack in the Box, Dean Koontz, and Qualcomm. Cris maintains a private voice/acting/piano, and audition studio. His clients have worked on Broadway, National Tours, top regional theatres, and academic programs NYU-Tisch, Indiana, PACE, Hartt, Boston Conservatory, CCM, Loyola, AMDA, and Northwestern. His increasingly favorite role is Dad, to 4 year-old daughter, Avery.
a graduate of Biola University, Nate is Lamb’s Director of Craft & Design. He has been designing lights for over 20 years. He is also a busy actor, photographer and musician and amateur luthier. As a performer Nate has been seen many of Lamb’s Christmas productions from the main stage to An American Christmas at the Hotel Del Coronado.
Paula Steiger Bloomer
Paula is excited to be a part of the Festival of Christmas! She is a San Diego native and has appeared onstage at The Welk, Starlight, CCT, and most recently with Lamb’s Players in Mixtape. Paula has also performed throughout Southern California with professional vocal groups and a popular San Diego cover band. Stage credits include: Carousel (Carrie), Cinderella (Stepsister), Man of La Mancha (Antonia), 42nd Street (Dancer), Fiddler on the Roof (Tzeitel), and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Wife). Paula is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. She thanks her husband, family of enthusiastic babysitters, and two little boys for supporting her return to the stage!
Posey - Alternate
Hourie is honored and grateful to be given the opportunity to return to Lamb's Players, and to be a part of this wonderful production of Les Miserables! She last performed with Lamb's in Christmas on my Mind, and her other credits include How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Old Globe), Sound of Music (San Diego Musical Theatre), The Wizard of Oz and Fiddler on the Roof (Moonlight Amphitheatre), as well as a number of San Diego Junior Theatre shows. Hourie loves watching old musicals during family movie night, and her favorite is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. She sings regularly in her Church choir, and she gives her love and thanks to God and her family!
Parker - Alternate
Natasha is excited to be part of the Festival Of Christmas, her first show with Lamb’s Players. Last holiday season she appeared as Betty-Lou Who in Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! at The Old Globe. Some other favorite past roles include Annie in Annie at Moonlight Stage Productions, and Tina Denmark in Ruthless! at Vista’s Broadway Theater. Other credits include Once On This Island (Erzulie), The Sound Of Music (Marta), Fiddler On The Roof, Bye Bye Birdie, Fame, and Orestes. Natasha attended LPT’s summer workshop and is delighted to rejoin the wonderful cast and crew here. She thanks her parents and brother for their love and support.
Jeanne Barnes Reith
Jeanne’s creative work has achieved Theatre Critics Awards such as the Craig Noel, KPBS Patte, and Billie Awards, for Servant of Two Masters. An Ideal Husband, A Woman of No Importance, Till We Have Faces, The Boy Who Fell Into a Book, Joyful Noise, Tarantara! Tarantara!, Dr. Faustus, Little Foxes, The Winslow Boy, and Metamorphoses. In 2008 Jeanne was presented a Patte Award for her entire season including Hello, Dolly!, The Voysey Inheritance, The Hit, Boomers, The Light in the Piazza, Festival of Christmas: Angel’s Arms and An American Christmas. Her career has included designs in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Dallas, Canada, and 140 productions for Lambs Players. She currently teaches Fashion at San Diego Mesa College and West City Continuing Education.
Since 1984 Mike has designed over 190 productions at Lambs Players in addition to many shows at such companies as San Diego Rep, The Laguna Playhouse and the Old Globe/USD MFA program. Recent favorites include sets for Wit and Les Miserables here at Lambs and set and lights for Rent at Southwestern College where he teaches technical theatre and design. Also a playwright, his romantic comedy The Hit had an extended run at LPT’s Coronado Theatre and then the Horton Grand Theatre and his set for The Hit earned Mike his fifth Patte Award. As an actor, Mike has appeared in many shows at LPT. Favorites include The Hit, Joseph…, Beau Jest, Johnny Pye and the Foolkiller, The Secret Garden, and My Fair Lady. He also appeared in Crazy For You at Moonlight. TV credits include Wicked, Wicked Games as well as several commercials. Mike also designs residential interiors through his business Weekend Makeover.
Patrick J. Duffy
Sound Designer/Audio Master
Patrick has most recently been seen on stage in Pete N Keely. Other stage credits here include The Book of the Dun Cow, Smoke on the Mountain ‘10 & ‘04, Festival of Christmas ‘08, The Voysey Inheritance, An Ideal Husband, Cold Comfort Farm, South Pacific, and Rehearsal for Murder (which he also stage managed and sound designed). As a resident Sound Designer, his sound credits here at Lamb’s are MIXTAPE, Pump Boys & Dinettes, Godspell, Boomers, The Fantasticks, The Light in the Piazza, Joseph ‘07, American Rhythm ‘06 at the Lyceum, The Secret Garden, and Enchanted April. When not on stage or designing, he can be found building sets or as Lamb’s Audio Master. Patrick is thankful for all His blessings in his life, and wishes you the same. Thanks for coming by, enjoy!
Lila Lace Flores King
is happy to be working with LPT again where she has served as a technician and Assistant Stage Manager on many productions including Enchanted April, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Festival Of Christmas, Into The Woods, American Rhythm, 1776, South Pacific, Dial M For Murder, Metamorphoses and An American Christmas. Lace is the Assistant Technical Director at Coronado High School’s Performing Arts School, COSA, where she has designed lights for Two by Five, Oliver! and Honk! Lace is a recent graduate of San Diego State University. She is currently the Assistant Light Director at the Old Globe, and a resident light designer for Joan B. Kroc Theatre and Coronado School of the Arts.
Julie is thrilled to return as an LPT Properties Master, after enjoying her work as Scenic Artist painting backdrops on See How They Run and Servant of Two Masters. She has worked with LPT as Assistant Stage Manager on Mixtape, and constructed properties on Joe vs. the Volcano. Julie previously worked for CCT Musical Theater as Scenic Designer for Let Freedom Ring aboard the Midway Aircraft Carrier, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hello, Dolly, and Route 66 at the East County Performing Arts Center, as well as Traditions of Christmas & Senior Follies (2007-2010). Scenic Artist (Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Mt. Helix Amphitheater), Properties Master (Forever Plaid at the Westgate Hotel). Julie currently works at Aesthetics Inc. as a certified Interior Designer and has a BS from Colorado State University in Interior Design. The "Northern Lights" of her life are Jon Lorenz, Hudson Fox and Macy Flynn.
is an avid Photographer, Videographer, Painter, Sculptor and “maker of things.” Since 2008, Michael has had the honor to work with Lamb’s as a Craft Master, Scenic Designer, Scenic Artist, Properties Designer, Multimedia/Video Designer and Technician, Stage Manager and Front of House Associate for various shows and special events at LPT. Other scenic design credits include: Killer Joe - San Diego Theater Critics Circle Award (Compass), Side Man (Diversionary), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Intrepid Shakespeare Company)
wears many hats as actor, director, and playwright. Kerry is the director of LPT’s Educational Outreach. On staff at LPT since 1976, she now serves as LPT’s Associate Artistic Director. As resident playwright, her work includes Boomers, American Rhythm, Dracula, My Asparagus Is Growing Fine and LPT’s annual Festival of Christmas. Her directing credits include MIXTAPE, Guys & Dolls, Trying, An Ideal Husband, Pretty Fire, Thunder At Dawn, Private Lives, The Boys Next Door, Amadeus, Beau Jest, The Foreigner and You Can’t Take It With You. As a performer she has been seen in such productions as The Great Divorce; Quilters; Tartuffe; Godspell; She Loves Me; A Woman of No Importance; You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown; Till We Have Faces; Pump Boys and Dinettes; Into The Woods; Hello, Dolly!; Boomers, The Hit, Leaving Iowa, Harvey , The Music Man and See How They Run.
"Finding refuge in the company of friends old and new, and in the pleasures of turning hardship into harmony.
That’s the story behind “Christmas On My Mind,” this year’s edition of Lamb’s Players Theatre’s annual “Festival of Christmas” tradition.
It’s also, in its own way, the story of Lamb’s itself — of a venerable theater that has had a few difficult years but, with help from abundantly talented artists it has embraced and (in many cases) groomed, keeps doing work worth savoring.
“Christmas On My Mind,” an encore of a Kerry Meads-scripted piece first staged in 2007, is the most successful and satisfying “Festival” piece I’ve seen yet. It also brings together some prominent members of the theater’s extended creative family, including ace musical director (and cast member) Jon Lorenz, actors Bryan Barbarin, Season Bowers and Nathan Peirson, and such multi-threat music and acting talents as Leonard Patton and Cris O’Bryon.
Given that Lamb’s had to disband its full-time resident acting ensemble earlier this year in the face of financial struggles, it’s encouraging to see that so much of the creative community the company has built over the years remains in the Coronado-based theater’s orbit.
The music-filled play, set in a remote mountain cabin during a very snowy Christmas, also is blessed with strong work from some fresh faces (to Lamb’s, anyway).
The setup: Musician Manny (played by Patton) is playing host to a houseful of people who’ve converged on a nearby resort town and, thanks to a snowstorm and blocked road, have found themselves stuck in the cabin.
There’s friction from the start between such parties as Bowers’ free-spirited wanderer Noelle and the ex-police chief McFadden (excellent David Kirk Grant), who’s a wary and worried granddad to young sisters Parker (Joanne Barber) and Posey (Remy Corbin). (Joanne and Remy, who both did admirable work on opening night, alternate in the roles with Natasha Partnoy and Hourie Klijian.)
The funny and blustery Barbarin plays Roderick, a chef and ex-football player, while O’Bryon, an appealing singer and pianist, is Charlie, an ever-neurotic musician from Miami. (His quip about the unfamiliar weather conditions: “Winter is on Hallmark cards and when the drinks change at Starbucks.”)
Lorenz, likewise a whiz on the keys, portrays Gene, Charlie’s performing partner and husband to Taylor (sweet-voiced Paula Steiger Bloomer). Nathan Peirson (who’s also the production manager for Lamb’s) is Big Dee, a lovably gruff, guitar-playing trucker with a troubled past; newcomer Anton Fero makes his mark as Carson, a prickly L.A. rocker with sharp electric-guitar skills.
The story by Lamb’s associate artistic chief Meads, who also directs, has some crackling dialogue and vibrant (if lightly sketched) characters, but it functions just as much to showcase the music.
Patton, the singular jazz singer-musician who has anchored multiple “Festival” productions, leads the ensemble in an irresistible reggae take on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”; his own composition “The Babe Is King” is graced by delicate vocal harmonies.
Lorenz’s affecting vocal arrangements highlight “Melancholy Bells,” while Grant’s guitar-playing brings flamenco texture to “O Come, Emmanuel.”
Mike Buckley’s copiously detailed cabin set evokes the feel of a sanctuary from the storms that, in various ways, mark all these characters’ lives. It’s an inviting place to get in tune with the season, and with the work of this durable theater."
Jim Hebert - UT, San Diego
"Okay, Manny's just a musician with a great log cabin way up in the mountains. It's got a huge picture window looking east and is stocked with enough food to feed the 5000. He's taking time to relax and remodel the dream house, right?
Well, maybe - and maybe that giant Sequoia simply fell across the road during a storm on December 23, stranding 11 people, most of whose lives are emotionally stranded. And they have nothing in common but music.
They found the cabin by seeing a light in the window. Mmmm-hmmm. And as they trail in, Manny wanders in and out - doing what? Who knows. And he always knows when to wander, giving a husband and wife, or an adopted child and her grandfather, the chance to re-bond or, to extend the cabin-metaphor, re-model themselves.
They have time because Manny's crib has electricity but no TV or WiFi or "can you hear me now?" bars. And since the storm will rage till Christmas Day, they're left to their own devices and, a rarity in the age of social media, face-to-face contact.
But come on, could Manny, played with an understated sagacity by Leonard Patton, be the helping hand prayed for in the 12th century lyric, "O Come, Emanuel"?
Kerry Meads subtle script and Patton's knowing smile hint at if not the possibility, at least an intriguing similarity.
The suggestion's as tricky as Lamb's Players' other leap of faith: that someone can tap on the floor, or pluck a guitar, and the group spontaneously bonds - that word again - and sings holiday songs with mega-sophisticated arrangements: intricate harmonies, unexpected syncopation (as in Patton's conga drum-driven "O Holy Night"), and polished accompaniments.
Somehow they do. So maybe Manny does cast a spell, or the cabin does, or the season. Or, another possibility, Manny dreamed the whole thing.
Another question: where does Lamb's find so many unfamiliar but spirited holiday songs? They either write them: Chris O'Byron's "Just Say No to Snow"; Patton's "The Babe is King" and "Christmas on My Mind"; Jon Lorenz's "The Music of Christmas" and "The Best Part of Christmas is Loving You"; or they arrange them: Nathan Peirson's guitar verson of "Joy to the World"; and several by Lorenz, a maestro, who weaves the traditional with the contemporary, often for this show with Caribbean-based inflections. The music makes the show.
It's said that playwrights shouldn't direct their work. Kerry Meads has done both well. Her ensemble cast has no slouches. They play so many different instruments they constitute, in effect, quite a back-up band.
Properties designer Julie Lorenz has filled Mike Buckley's appealing, two-story set with telling details and what must be, during the run, a near-infinite supply of Oreo cookies."
Jeff Smith - The Reader
"In this season of blessings I want to say as a reviewer how fortunate we are in San Diego to have the quality of talented performers, directors, and venues of which to attend plays. Time and time again I'm amazed as I go out to see these plays and am throughly entertained. Chances are if you see a play advertised you think you would enjoy you probably will. Take the time to go out and support the arts while you escape the stress of everyday life. A win win for all.
Festival of Christmas if chosen will not disappoint. Meads and Lorenz did a fantastic job bringing this cast of eleven talented performers together for a wonderful Christmas experience.
Set in present day in a mountain hideaway in the Western United States, December 23 through Christmas day. When a tree falls across the road in a blizzard, ten weary strangers are brought together in the cabin of Manny played by Leonard Patton. Who I like to think was part of the magic of Christmas who brought this diverse group of travelers together to heal them so they could move on with their lives.
The favorite part of Christmas for Parker played by Joanne Barber and Gene Wisdom played by the extremely talented Jon Lorenz, is the music. And the music of Christmas is what brought the strangers together. Each actor played one or several instruments along with singing. Beautiful voices adding a Caribbean kind of beat to Christmas music. Some familiar songs and some new arrangements - all magical.
The talented cast also included Nathan Person as Big Dee, Bryan Barbarin as Roderick, Chris O' Bryon as Charlie, Anton Fero, as Carson, Paula Steiger Bloomer, as Taylor, Season Bowers as Noelle, David Kirk Grant, as McFadden and Remy Corbin as little Posey.
The cast has put together a Cd of the fantastic Christmas music sold in the lobby after the show. A special gift for a friend or loved one.
A special shout out to Michael McKeon for the warmth and comfort and bringing the perfect lodgelike feel to the set.
Festival of Christmas a magical Christmas treat."
Kathy Carpenter - SDWRITEWAY.ORG
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