Students from St. Clair College's Music Theatre Performance program are excited to once again present their annual Christmas show, a seasonal favourite for many Windsorites.
This year's show, entitled Season's Greetings, is an original show directed by Katherine Kaszas, with choreography by Kristyn Wiklanski and Melissa Williams. The show also features a live, onstage orchestra which will be under the musical direction of Mike Karloff. This year marks the 16th year that the Music Theatre Performance Program has put on a show, only stopping once in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The show will feature more than 30 Music Theatre Performance students. However, the third-year students have a special role in this production - they have created the show and chosen the theme under the guidance of Kaszas.
"The students needed to do a show that focuses on the music of the 1940s," said Kaszas. "It's a period where a lot of popular Christmas music was written. We wanted to be able to span different types of music. We've got ballads, blues, funny numbers, and carols among others. The variation allows for a lot of different types of dance and vocal opportunities for the performers."
Season's Greetings takes place in a nightclub in the postwar 1940s, featuring more than 20 songs and dances from that era. Each song showcases a different style of dance, including tap, jazz, waltz, jive and tango. Choreographer Melissa Williams teases some details of the show.
"We take music that's already been written but we change the lyrics to make it more Christ-massy," said Williams. "With this show we find ourselves in the 40s which is a really great time. It's all in the music. It's a lot of big band sounds, swing dancing, a close to the floor kind of feel!"
Kaszas hopes that this year's show will resonate with today's audiences.
"The 1940s is a nostalgic period that people look back on," said Kaszas. "There was a lot of hardship in the early years and after the tough times, people wanted to get back to a state of normalcy. They wanted to open their hearts and spirits which is similar to what I think we're experiencing now coming out of the pandemic. Everyone just wants to see things return to normal. They just want to be happy."
Performances run from December 9 - 17 at the Chrysler Theatre, located at 201 Riverside Drive West, with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. on December 9, 10, 15 and 16 and a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on December 17.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and children. To purchase tickets, visit the box office in person or call 519-252-6579. The box office is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can also purchase tickets online at www.chryslertheatre.com/events. These shows have been known to sell out, so get your tickets early!