Christmas spirit came to life last Saturday night at the Fall Fair Hall in Barriere when the Thompson Valley Players presented “An Old Fashioned Christmas” – and it was magical.
Entertainers of all ages graced the stage, entertaining for two hours to a standing room only crowd.
Producer of the event, Beverly Murphy, gave high praise to the technical direction of Charlie Kibble and assistant Meaghan Bunn, who created an enchanting atmosphere with a projection screen, coloured lights and the sounds of the season. Murphy herself put in many hours of dedication to make the event the success that it was.
Another driving force was director and emcee Dan Sweetnam, working with his wife and stage director Daphne Sweetnam. These two ‘elves’ where kept on their toes getting all twenty acts on and off the stage; Dan even managed to entertain the crowd with a beautiful rendition of The Little Drummer Boy with his sons Josiah and Sam; and all three appeared in different skits throughout the evening.
The jolly old man Santa himself opened the show with the help of a few elves, and Bob Armstrong serenaded the crowd with “Blue Christmas” complete with a little Santa boogie.
Not to be outdone by Santa, The Grinch tried to steal Christmas but was won over and had a change of heart as Charlie Kibble sang the classic tale, and 93-year-old Peggy Armstrong entertained the Grinch on stage.
The Thompson Valley junior players featured Seanna Armstrong, Brittany Waite, Nikki Storey, Aurora Sabyan, Taylor Harris, Rachael Veich, Gabriella Genier and Jordan Genier sang, who danced and entertained themselves into the hearts of the excited crowd. A highlight of the evening was when they performed a new version of ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ with emcee Dan.
Special guests included the talented styling of Gordie West, the hilarious three legged man routine by Gary Pfeifer, and the amazing Leah Pepper Jones sang and directed some good old fashioned favorites with The Thompson Valley Community Chorus.
The Red Hot Mommas brought the house down with a spunky version of “Hey Big Spender”, proving we are all young at heart.
On piano Jessica Kennedy dazzled the crowd with her fantastic playing skills as she tickled the ivory of the old upright piano with a wonderful sound echoing through the hall throughout the evening. Jessica also accompanied her brothers and sister Sean, Michael, Clarrisa and Kurt who sang an inspirational carol.
Sylvia Chivers, portraying Mrs. Claus, read an incredible story of Bethlehem to the children gathered around her.
The night came to a close with a touching story of “Christmas at the Cove” written by Bernice Randrup and her mother Fanny Bradford, that told the tale of Christmas past at the Chinook Cove Hall. Bernice and her husband Harry Heibert brought the characters to life, and did some name dropping of many of the old families that shaped this valley. Their skit was the perfect ending to a well rounded look at what Christmas is all about.
What a night of singing, inspiration, laughing, dancing presents, big elves, candy canes, heartfelt poems, family, friends, chit chat and a great concession offered up by the grade 7 fundraisers.
The Thompson Valley Players say they plan on making “An Old Fashioned Christmas” an annual event, and are already making plans for next season. The group thanks the community for their tremendous support and wish a happy holiday to everyone!