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Singing it out, early and proud
Sequim Gazette staff
The holiday season is being delivered early this year on a stage of cheer and nostalgia.
Readers Theatre Plus takes “The Winter Wonderettes” musical to the Dungeness Schoolhouse with 20-plus Christmas classics from Nov. 8-17.
Actresses Vicki Helwick, Kyra Humphrey, Janice Parks and Elise Ray lead the follow-up to Roger Bean’s “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” a musical centered on four high school friends with big dreams and funny foibles.
For Christmas, the women reunite in their hometown of Springfield to put on a pageant for Harper’s Hardware where Betty Jean (Helwick) works. However, their Santa Claus is a no-show, so they must improvise and turn the show into a merry good time.
Following “Marvelous,” quirks between characters is obvious as the friends throw small jabs at each other like sisters, but if you haven’t seen the first musical, the Christmas music is what shines first over the story.
Director Dewey Ehling said the play takes well-known holiday music of the 1950s and 1960s like “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bell Rock” and infuses it through the play.
Audience members will serve as fellow employees and might be asked to sing along, Ehling said.
“I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying it,” Humphrey said.
Ehling said the show is a first for him as he directs the vocals to pre-recorded music. He said the experience is different but dependable and allows him to focus more on the performances.
“It’s good, fun, tight harmonies,” said Helwick.
The musical serves as the annual scholarship fundraiser for Readers Theatre Plus’ high school seniors’ art/music school scholarships.