The cast of Olympic Theatre Arts’ “Holiday Variety Show” from bottom left, Danika Chen, Jennifer Horton and Hannah Colwell, and top left, Leroy Davidson, musical director Karen Pritchard, Greg Scherer, Lorra Cornetet, Cylinda McAlister, Ryan Machedo, Ken Lillagore, David Meissner and Debbie Embree rehearse one of the scenes from its upcoming production set for this weekend. (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

The cast of Olympic Theatre Arts’ “Holiday Variety Show” from bottom left, Danika Chen, Jennifer Horton and Hannah Colwell, and top left, Leroy Davidson, musical director Karen Pritchard, Greg Scherer, Lorra Cornetet, Cylinda McAlister, Ryan Machedo, Ken Lillagore, David Meissner and Debbie Embree rehearse one of the scenes from its upcoming production set for this weekend. (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

A show to remember in December

SEQUIM — Olympic Theatre Arts has ushered in the yuletide season with an original adaptation of works, the Holiday Variety Show.

The performances are on the main stage at Olympic Theatre Arts Center, 414 N. Sequim Ave. Reserved seating tickets are available online at olympictheatrearts.org, at the theater box office, or at the door if available.

The show began Thursday and continues tonight and Saturday evenings at 7:30; Saturday and Sunday matinees are set for 2 p.m.

Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $10 for students.

As the name implies, the production offers a wide variety of entertainment with material for the show adapted by the late Jerry L. Stewart from various sources including scenes and music from such holiday favorites as “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The Gift of the Magi,” “Babes in Toyland” and others.

The show is directed by Cathy Marshall with musical direction by Karen Pritchard and Leroy Davidson on keyboard.

“The cast for the show is also indicative of the title ‘variety,’ ” Pritchard said.

“We have many veteran performers in the cast as well as some newcomers to the stage; we have children and adults of all ages.

“It’s thrilling to see how the experienced performers have had such an amazing effect on those without much stage time — it raises the level of everyone’s performance. And the content is just beautiful, it is iconic, historic and ranges from comedy to poignancy. This show has it all.”

Marshall said the opening of the show is dedicated to Stewart for all the work he did in adapting this production and his contributions to the theater.

Stewart was the business manager for OTA as well as a performer and died battling cancer in October.

“It’s dedicated to him in the fact that he helped us put this together and he’s not here,” Marshall said.

“He was always teaching; always helping us.”

Marshall said the cast opens the show with the song “Seasons of Love” from the musical “Rent” to commemorate Stewart’s contributions to the theater, followed by a series of holiday songs.

“We felt like [Stewart] had done so much here at Olympic Theatre Arts and had been involved in this show so we wanted to pay a little tribute to him at the beginning,” she said.

During this season of compassion and giving, Olympic Theatre Arts is collaborating with Serenity House for this production.

Cast member Lorra Cornetet, the narrator for “The Grinch” scenes, she is hoping the show will put the audience in the holiday spirit.

“For me, Christmas is the best time of year,” Cornetet said. “I think what we’re really striving for is to give the audience this gift of walking out of the theater with a smile on your face.”

Cornetet said the show ranges from poignant to funny and that it is a production the whole family can enjoy.

“I think it’s going to appeal a lot to kids too,” Cornetet said.

Serenity House of Clallam County is a community based, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing shelter and services for homeless individuals and families.

Through collaborations such as this, OTA hopes to bring better awareness of community needs to its patrons while the collaborating nonprofit helps further understanding of the value of the arts.

For more information, contact the theatre box office between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, call 360-683-7326 or see http://olympictheatrearts.org/OTA/.

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