Up & Coming Weekly

November 29, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 15 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM NOVEMBER 30 - DECEMBER 6, 2022 UCW 15 'Best Christmas Pageant Ever' returns to CFRT by ASHLEY SHIRLEY It's time, once again, for the Cape Fear Regional eatre's beloved production of "e Best Christmas Pageant Ever." e annual show, now in its 31st year, will open on Saturday, Dec. 3, and run every Tuesday through Sunday until Dec. 18. e classic Christmas story based on the 1971 novel of the same name by Barbara Robinson tells the story of a couple desperate to put together the church Christmas pageant despite the involvement of the notorious Herd- man kids. rough mischief, mayhem, and absolute chaos, the Herdmans teach the whole town about the sea- son's true meaning — with plenty of laughs along the way. Adapted as a play by Robinson in 1982, the show has been a popular production for schools and communi- ty theatres ever since. is year's pro- duction will be directed by the CFRT's Education Associate, Jennifer Sell. Up & Coming Weekly spoke with CFRT's Education Director, Marc de la Concha, about what makes this show so special for audiences. "It's a big tradition here in Fayetteville; people love the story," he shared. "e kids love to do it every year. ey love playing the parts. It's classic. Many kids come to see this play as a field trip for school and then want to be a part of it later on." Having only skipped one year due to COVID-19 restrictions, "e Best Christmas Pageant Ever" is a holiday tradition that waits to greet children, their parents and other community members every year. Parents who may have once graced the stage as children can now cheer on their own children as the enduring story of the Herdmans comes around to delight families. In a casting shift different from what it was prior to COVID, children and older teens now make up the bulk of the cast, even filling roles tradition- ally written for adults. De la Concha sees it as a great move that gets more children interested in the arts, an en- deavor extremely close to the theater's heart. "We have a good mix of kids from the area," de la Concha stated. "We're excited to see more schools join us, and we love seeing kids in the building around the holidays. We're excited to have students come and see people their age on stage. We let them know they can come audition next year." To that end, de la Concha encour- ages children of all ages to audition when the time comes. "We have roles for as young as six all the way up to college — all are welcome." e theatre offers shows throughout the week, making "e Best Christmas Pageant Ever" a holiday must-do for the whole family. e play is a won- derful field trip opportunity for the city's large home school population and would also make a fun outing for a playdate as the weather gets chillier. "e Best Christmas Pageant Ever" is an hour of Christmas magic suitable for all ages. It's the perfect opportunity for families and the Fayetteville community to come to- gether and celebrate the most won- derful time of the year. CFRT is located at 1209 Hay Street. For tickets or more information, contact the box office at 910-323-4233 or visit www.cfrt.org/. Performances are Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets range from $13.50 to $18.50. ASHLEY SHIRLEY, Staff Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200 COVER Dance Theater of Fayetteville to perform The Nutcracker by R. ELGIN ZEIBER e Dance eater of Fayetteville will perform the Nutcracker at Methodist College on Dec. 3, 4, and 5, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Sunday will be a 3 p.m. matinee. "We do the whole Act One with the party scene [and] with the mice and soldiers," Artistic Director Leslie Du- mas said. "Act Two is when Clara is in her dream, and the Land of Sweets." e Nutcracker is a beloved two-act Christmas ballet created by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1892 and has been synonymous with the North American Christmas season since the 1960s. "We try to keep it Victorian as much as possible," Dumas said. "We try to keep costumes looking older, not modern." e Dance eater of Fayetteville has been performing the Nutcracker for over 20 years. As a non-profit, the studio gets children involved with other duties, like passing out fliers or putting fliers up. "We are a children's Nutcracker," Dumas said. "We take any dancers [in the Nutcracker production as long as they're in a dance class somewhere]." Behind the production, there are a lot of dedicated parents who dress, monitor and help the kids on stage. "Our Nutcracker is fun for the kids," Dumas said. "We make it very kid- oriented, [and] small children come because they see other small kids dancing." is Nutcracker production will be slightly different from others because there will be some tumbling during the Russian Dance. e Dance e- ater of Fayetteville is inside Country- side Gymnastics. e Russian Dance is in the second act, Dumas said. "ere's lots of ballet stuff in it, so I work with the gym [and] the boys help me out with tumbling because my dancers aren't tumblers." Tickets can be purchased in ad- vance, $12 for adults and $7 for stu- dents between grades K-12. Tickets at the door will be $15 per adult and $7 for K-12 students. Kids under 5 get to watch the show for free. "We have five different dance studios in the area, and we're always welcoming new dance studios," Du- mas said. Anne Clark founded this rendition of the Nutcracker in the 1970s, and when she retired, Dumas took over. "I've been working [the Nutcracker] since she retired," Dumas said. "We have all of our performances at Meth- odist." e Dance eater of Fayetteville is located at 330 McArthur Road, inside Countryside Gymnastics. For more information about the Nutcracker and dance studio, visit DanceStu- dioOfFayetteville.com. e Nutcracker is a beautiful way to start December, according to the Dance eater of Fayetteville, and this will be the first year since the pandemic began that there will be no COVID-19 protocol. e Dance eater of Fayetteville's Nutcracker will happen Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. in the Huff Concert Hall at Methodist University. Methodist University is located on the north side of town at 5400 Ramsey Street. R. ELGIN ZEIBER, Intern. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200 e Dance eater of Fayetteville performing e Nutcracker. (Photo courtesy e Dance eater of Fayetteville) (Photos courtesy Cape Fear Regional eatre)

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