Arts and Entertainment

Performances bring out the joy of the season

By Trudy D'Armond

Stage Door Productions will be performing the delightful holiday radio program “Miracle on 34th Street” at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 and 2 p.m. Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. at the former J.J. Smith Elementary School gymnasium at 1640 Fell St., just off of Griffin Avenue in Enumclaw. I would recommend making the day of Enumclaw’s 28th annual Christmas parade a day to remember for the whole family and take in both the parade in the afternoon and the radio show in the evening. Not only will you be taken back to the original 1948 radio show, but you’ll be treated to a complimentary dessert buffet. Admission is $15 and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets may be purchased at the door, or at Radio Shack and Arts Alive! in Enumclaw. For Stage Door Productions Radio Show information call 360-825-2212.

Stephanie Venrick will be directing the re-enactment of the 1948 radio show. The performance is portrayed as a live broadcast in front of a radio show audience as it was originally presented 61 years ago. This is a show complete with sound effects, Lux Soap commercials and a nostalgia that anyone searching for the holiday spirit will find. You’ll be convinced Santa Claus is as real as you and I after attending this wonderful family presentation. There is something comforting about old-fashioned holiday traditions that makes me smile from the inside out.

A few weeks ago I was able to take my mother out on her first “date” since her bypass surgery. I took her to Stage Door Productions hilarious presentation of “Noises Off” on Oct. 23, performed at the White River High School Theater. With mother’s walker steadying her, we were gently lowered to the front section of the theater by the handy elevator and its helpful operator.

I had seen Stage Door’s cast of “Noises Off” in rehearsal as well as four other times in the actual performance. I laughed a lot each time, but nothing like when I was able to share the moment with my mother. My mother’s reaction to the side-splitting physical comedy made me feel I was seeing the play for the first time. The cast was simply superb and the stage crew received applause as they rotated the entire massive set during intermission.

Stage managing, prop management, timing, lighting and costuming were flawless in this production. Audience member’s faces hurt from continual laughter after the play. I saw the 1992 movie adaption staring seasoned actors Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, John Ritter, Nicolette Sheridan, Denholm Elliott, Julie Hagerty, Mark Linn-Baker and Marilu Henner. I found Stage Door Productions play superbly funnier and the cast far more convincing in their characters.

Congratulations to Director Frank Thompson. He was awarded a plaque of recognition for his contribution to the arts community by Arts Alive! Oct. 7. Congratulations also to his cast of “Noises Off” which included Steffanie Foster, Russ Coffey, James Moniz, Stacia Bruner, Carson Johnson, Scott Buckmiller, Kendra Phillips, Nathaneal Brown and Matt Bittner.

With the holidays upon us it is my sincere desire to impress the importance of upholding and supporting the performing arts on the Plateau by attending local performances. We have a wonderful variety of performing art groups ready to show you the beauty and creativity of music, dance and theater. From nonprofit groups to seasonal high school performances we happen to be a very rich community that separates itself from others by sharing our creative selves artistically. It is empowering, yet humbling. It is frightening but also emboldens. It is the essence of our creative selves we offer to you and we hope we can inspire, entertain and lift you to another level of understanding the human spirit through our creativity. Look for local performance dates on The Courier Herald’s Community Calendar page.

I’d like to share an inspirational quote by Mark Twain that expresses our need, curiosity and desire to explore, create and grow. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

May the season bring you joy you’ll keep forever.

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