‘It's suspenseful, heartwarming and a time to bring the family together'
TRURO - Adam Smith is thrilled to be part of something very unique this Christmas season.
The 17-year-old Valley teenager has a lead role in A Christmas Spectacular, a production that combines musical theatre, jazz, audience participation and dance. The production will take place Saturday and Sunday at the Marigold Cultural Centre at 2 and 7 p.m.
Smith said the event is extra special because it was written by Margot Begin-Gillis, a local resident and the artistic director of the Truro Dance Academy. Begin-Gillis also wrote the holiday piece.
"It's a clean slate, from start to finish, no one has seen it before," said Smith, who plays Rudy, the male lead. "It's never been done before and every character can be rooted for in their own way."
Emily Robertson, 16, of Milford Station, plays Karen, the female lead. A lot of the action revolves around Robertson and Smith, whose characters are friends who work together and ultimately enter into a romance.
Robertson said people will be pleased with the story and the many surprises the production offers.
"It's very surprising with lots of twists and turns. It's not just about performing, either, there's audience participation," said Robertson. "It's suspenseful, heartwarming and a time to bring the family together."
Seven-year-old Lily Oakley of Valley is also excited to be involved in the production.
"I have a talking and dancing role. It's fun because it's my first show like this because I've always watched before," said Oakley.
Begin-Gillis said seeing the group of 45 youth, from ages seven to 18, learn and grow as they prepare for the event shouldn't be taken for granted.
"The commitment on the part of the kids is amazing. They started preparing in September and some didn't have musical theatre experience but are doing so well ... and people should leave excited about Christmas," said Begin-Gillis.
This is the first year in quite a while that the dance academy has not performed The Nutcracker for its Christmas production.
"We did it for six years but it's good to keep things fresh. There will be parts of The Nutcracker in this because we don't want to get rid of it completely," said Begin-Gillis, adding people will be very familiar with the production's music.
"There's lots of humour and even a disco version of Silver Bells."
Begin-Gillis said traditional and popular music by musicians such as Mariah Carey will also be featured in the production.
IF YOU GO
What: A Christmas Spectacular by the Truro Dance Academy
When: Dec. 8 and 9
Times: 2 and 7 p.m.
Where: Marigold Cultural Centre
Artistic director and writer: Margot Begin-Gillis
Choreographer: Begin-Gillis and Melissa Page-Webster
Tickets: $15 at MacQuarries Pharmasave on the Esplanade at online at www.ticketpro.ca