Monday, December 12, 2011


As sweet as a peppermint candy cane and as sentimental as a wet kiss from a warm puppy, Ivoryton Playhouse’s newly minted Christmas offering “Home for the Holidays” is perfect seasonal fare for the whole family.  Conceived and directed by Artistic Director Jacqueline Hubbard, it will provide a wonderful way to welcome the holiday spirit into your heart.

Until Sunday, December 18, you will once again be caught up in a winter blizzard as a dozen and a half men, women and children find themselves stranded at the playhouse on Christmas Eve.  Just think of the recent hurricane and sudden early snowstorm, and the attendant black outs and power outages to put yourself in the mood.

Despite the hardships, this valiant group rallies to the occasion and becomes a makeshift family in its adversity.  The birthday-celebrating Holly (Liz Pester) performs Christmas miracles, a lovesick Joe (Brandon Clark) reveals his affections for the actress Christina (Alanna Burke),  John (John Sebastian DeNicola) keeps everyone’s spirits up with his lively piano tunes while Norm (Norm Rutty) accompanies him on the guitar.

Traditional Christmas songs are stuffed into the Christmas stockings, like Rob’s (Michael McDermott) moving rendition of “Bring Him Home,” Helen’s (Beverley J. Taylor) memorable “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” Rob and Sarah’s (Michael McDermott and Carolina Read) bouncy version of “Mr. Fezziwig’s Annual Christmas Ball,” Jennifer’s (Gayle LaBrec) cute “Twelve Days of Cheapness,” and Christina’s (Alanna Burke) saucy contribution of “Santa Baby,” complete with red boa.

The children, Addison Marchese (Sammie), Carson Waldron (Tucker),  Kaitlyn Vitelli (Emily) and Kearney Capuano (Cassie), are a delight with “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” while grandmotherly Jane (Maggie McGlone Jennings) offers her precious silver thimble for a hiding game to entertain them.

Jason Naylor as Steve, Celeste Cummings as Celeste and Erica LuBonta as Cat add their lively voices to make this holiday a memorable one for all concerned, while Will Schneider’s David makes Helen’s Christmas wish come true.

For tickets ($30, $20 students, $15 children), call Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7318 or online at  Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Be sure to see Ivoryton’s 100,000 holiday lights all aglow every evening.

Jump into the holiday mood with both feet as this dedicated troupe goes all out to make the day special.

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