Stories On Stage: Making Merry
“I think of Making Merry as a ‘moveable feast.” ~ Anthony Powell, Artistic Director, Stories on Stage
When the pandemic altered their plans for a full season of live performances to celebrate their 20th Anniversary, Anthony Powell, Artistic Director at Stories on Stage, responded with wry humor, “We were not consulted.” Stories on Stage pivoted to live stream performances in September with an eye toward the crown jewel of every season — Making Merry, their annual holiday feast of stories and songs.
Stories on Stage took a unique approach to crafting this year’s performance of “Making Merry — Greatest Hits” by surveying audiences on favorite past performances and then building the show from their suggestions. Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory was the hands-down winner.
In the company of a beloved relative, Capote remembers a long ago Christmas. He calls her, “my friend”. She is quite old; he is seven. Surely, few stories, particularly any about the making of fruitcake, shine as brightly as A Christmas Memory. In the Deep South of Capote’s memory, Christmas was handmade and heartfelt. If ever a story was meant to be read aloud it is this one. Stories on Stage veteran Candy Brown brings it to life.
The celebration is further adorned by audience favorites when Gabriella Cavallero reads “Who Can Retell’ by Myra Goldberg, a Hanukkah story named after the song that promises, “In every age, a hero or sage, came to our aid.”
And Jamie Horton returns, as he does every year, to read “Amazing Peace”, a Christmas poem by Maya Angelou, that inspires us to embrace the peace and promise of Christmas so that hope and love can once again light up our world.
Powell continues: “We’ll do a couple of songs we’ve never done before including some originals from David Nehls, our musical director, performer and Renaissance man. We’ll start the show with the original, Judy Garland, version of ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ from the film, “Meet Me in St. Louis.”
Ever-resilient, ‘I think of this production as a ‘moveable feast,” says Powell. Once again, necessity — the Red alert — prompted nimble thinking. Instead of taping the whole show from their usual venue (Boulder’s NOMAD Theatre) with cast and crew in one space, masked and socially distanced, the team decided to stage the show in multiple locales, adding visual interest to boot. “We’ve wanted to make something unique out of this event,” says Powell, “and not just shoehorn it into the situation.”
Add a mad dollop of humor with Lenny and Squiggy’s holiday song from Laverne and Shirley, and this show could be just the ticket you need this season.
“Making Merry: Greatest Hits” will be live streamed on Sunday, December 13th, at 1:30 pm MST. Tickets are $15 per household. To learn more and purchase a ticket, click here.