MINTY: Christmas will soon be here with ‘Belles’ on

This is it. The lights are up, snow is falling (somewhere) and people are packing the malls to get shopping done. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Not in the spirit of the season yet? No worries. There are some delightful shows at local theatres that will help you put a shine on the season.

The Vagabond Players have the hilarious production, Christmas Belles, opening on Dec. 3. Go see this show; your face will laugh from hurting so much. Oh no, that should be hurt from laughing so much.

In the small town of Fayro, Texas, the citizens juggle a little larceny, a lovestruck sheriff and "Elvis" in an attempt to keep the Tabernacle of the Lamb’s Christmas program from spiralling into chaos.

Directed by Dale Kelly, Christmas Belles stars Alexandra Wilson, Colleen Bignell and Colleen Byberg as the Futrelle sisters, with John Cousins playing Dub Dubberly, husband of Frankie and anxious fatherto-be of the twins. Ray Boulay is John Curtis Buntner, the feisty sheriff who loves the ladies just as much as his coffee and doughnuts, and Alex Ross plays Justin Waverly, the beleaguered pastor of the Tabernacle of the Lamb. Kathleen Driscoll takes the role of Patsy Price, know-it-all high-society matron, while Cathe Busswood shines as Geneva Musgrave, the town gossip and crusty owner of the local flower shop. The citizens of Fayro will have a Christmas pageant that will never, ever be forgotten.

The show runs from Dec. 3 to 20 at Bernie Legge Theatre, located at Queens Park in New Westminster. For tickets and more details, call 604-521-0412 or visit Vagabondplayers.ca.

Elsewhere, Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of Mary Poppins runs at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville St., at 12th Ave., Vancouver) from Dec. 4 to Jan. 4. Tickets start at $29, inclusive of taxes and fees, via 604-687-1644 and Artsclub.com.

This magical musical was such a success last year in this seasonal spot, the Arts Club

brought it back this year. It’s not exactly as seasonal as White Christmas, but definitely a family-friendly production. I mean, don’t we all need a spoon full of sugar and wish that everything could be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Book your tickets now.

Closer to home, Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir’s "Sounds of Christmas" concert on Dec. 9 at Surrey Arts Centre is sold out. Just sayin’.

The choir is not exclusive to Welsh men, but it is entirely made up of men. Men’s choruses are amazing – I love to hear men sing en masse. Pacific Showtime Men’s Chorus, a smaller and equally friendly group, needs more male singers. This community-based male chorus, under the direction of accomplished musician, arranger and conductor Jonathan Wiltse, is wishing to expand its membership. It invites men of all ages who enjoy singing to come out to one of its rehearsals and "check us out." Founded in 2006, Pacific Harmony provides a supportive environment for its members, with emphasis placed on the enjoyment of singing, mostly in four-part harmony, and sharing that joy with others. The repertoire is designed to include songs with arrangements that appeal to a wide variety of music preferences, with emphasis on the entertainment value.

Pacific Showtime has performed at various venues around the Metro Vancouver, including show productions, community events, concerts, retirement residences and private functions. The group provides an opportunity to develop singing techniques while having fun and enjoying the camaraderie. Rehearsals are held in the education centre at St. Mark’s Ocean Park Church, 12953 20th Ave., South Surrey, every Monday at 7:30 p.m. For details, call 604-536-5292, email leighand@shaw.ca or visit Pacificshowtime.com. Let’s all go a’caroling.

melminty@telus.net

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