Tri-State Theater

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Monday, November 22, 2010

"Happy Holidays! A Christmas Cabaret"

Here's a story from today's edition of the Herald-Dispatch about a special holiday concert coming up this weekend:
WSAZ Meteorologist Marina Jurica has some good news and bad news about the weather this weekend.

The bad news is that is going to be cold and wet.

The good news is she's smart enough to be heading inside and is inviting you along.

Jurica, her husband Todd Preston, and a couple dozen of their best singing and dancing friends are gathering for Happy Holidays! A Christmas Cabaret, that is set for 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at the Pullman Plaza Hotel, 1001 3rd Ave., Huntington.

The cabaret stars such standout singers as Catlettsburg native/Nashville songwriter Stephen Salyers, up-and-coming songwriter Bronson Bush, stage veteran Ryan Hardiman, and some WSAZ personalities including Melanie Shafer, as well as Rob Johnson and Tony Cavalier who will be reading "Twas The Night Before Christmas" during the show.

Tickets are $15 and $10 for children and students for this fundraiser for the Pullman Plaza Playhouse 2011 season.

Jurica said they think the cabaret is a perfect way to kick off the holiday season for folks wanting something to do with family in for Thanksgiving.

"I am telling you right now the weather does not look good, so put your Christmas lights up now because next weekend -- not so good," Jurica said. "But inside, we are trying to make it a real nice kickoff to the holiday season. There's so much that happens in December that you almost get inundated but there's hardly anything that happens Thanksgiving weekend and everyone is here visiting family."

Jurica, who is on the Playhouse board with her husband, said the cabaret is another fun way to raise some money for the Playhouse, which just completed its inaugural 2010 season with productions of 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Little Shop of Horrors, in addition to a Starry Starry Night Cabaret.

"They are picking up a lot of steam with everything," Jurica said. "We had fantastic audiences for 'Starry, Starry Night,' selling out the first night and almost 75 percent sold out the second night going up against Liza Minelli. 'Putnam County Spelling Bee' did well and 'Little Shop' did even better. So all of them have made profit at a time when most community theater companies barely break even or go into the red."

Jurica, who has put together several "Starry Starry Night" cabarets that have been mostly Broadway song revues, said this Christmas cabaret is a bit more geared for all ages with a visit from Santa, her WSAZ co-horts, Johnson and Cavalier reading Christmas stories, as well as some children singing songs such as "Nuttin' for Christmas," blended into the program that features a wide array of Christmas songs.

Singers are coming from as far away as Nashville, Morgantown, Charleston and Lexington for the show that features about 40 songs including "Let There Be Peace on Earth," and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," that will feature the entire cast.

Jurica's friends from UK Opera in Lexington, Ky., Victoria and Peter Guy are coming over to sing as are young country singers as Stephen Salyers, who's been based out of Nashville for about five years, and Bronson Bush, a local high school student who has already performed at the world famous Bluebird Cafe.

They'll kick off the show with some Christmas on Broadway featuring a slew of songs such as "Sleigh Ride," "Here Comes Santa Claus," "I'll Be Home for Christmas, "Silent Night," and others.

Jurica and Hardiman, who've performed together as featured soloists at the Huntington Symphony Orchestra, will be singing, "The Prayer," an Andrea Bocelli song.

There's also a touch of country with Nancy Jackson, Beth Winkler and Melanie Shafer singing, "Tennessee Christmas," and "Hard Candy Christmas," the song Dolly Parton made famous.

Jurica, who is also singing "The Wexford Carol," an acapella solo and "Baby, It's Cold Outside," with her husband, said they'll be plenty of costumes and fun with folks dressed up for such songs as "Santa Baby," and as well as for a song from "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

While several of the cabarets have been dinner and a show, this will be a show only.

"People are looking for things to do and people want to get into the holiday spirit," Jurica said. "I think after all of that shopping on Friday that people will get rested up and be reading for a great night."
If You Go:

WHERE: Pullman Plaza Hotel, 1001 3rd Ave., Huntington

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28

HOW MUCH: Tickets are $15 and $10 for children and students

WHAT FOR: A fundraiser for the Pullman Plaza Playhouse 2011 season. The Playhouse is a new dinner theater based out of the Pullman Plaza Hotel.

GET TICKETS: Call 304-710-7290 or visit www.pullmanplayhouse.com

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