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Chris, Mrs.

Bringing a Christmas Movie to Life   Reviewed by Mary Alderson Watching Christmas movies on TV is my guilty pleasure. They have very predictable plots, and simple cinematography. But gee whiz, with the holiday spirit and the happy ending, they make you feel good. Chris, Mrs. now on stage at Toronto’s Winter Garden Theatre (yes, that’s the beautiful, old theatre with the branches and vines growing down from the ceiling) is a live Christmas movie. It has all the elements we love – a widower with a teenage daughter and young twins goes home for Christmas to his family’s beautiful tourist lodge, now managed by his brother. With them is the widower’s girlfriend and (gasp!) it soon becomes apparent that she doesn’t really care about him or his children. She’s after his money, and if she arranges to sell the Lodge, they will have even more money! Spoiler alert: Thank heavens there is a cute and sassy young woman working at the lodge who reminds the widower about the importance of traditions and the true spirit of Christmas. All the makings of the perfect Christmas movie, right?  Now, add beautiful singing and energetic dancing. This show is the creation of couple Katie Kerr and Matthew Stodolak. The pair are well known in Canadian musical theatre, with Katie doing eight seasons at Charlottetown Festival as well as the Grand in London, Drayton Entertainment and Theatre Aquarius. Matthew has been the music director at Canada’s Wonderland and keyboard player for Drayton Entertainment and Theatre Aquarius. Together they wrote the script, lyrics and music, then launched the show with their own company, Boldly Productions. Liam Tobin, back after being on Broadway and with various touring shows,  shines as Ben Chris, the widower with three children, who succumbs to the nasty temptress played by
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Mary's Musings

Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia — 2024 Line Up

May 7 to 26: OIL RUSH — The Big Discovery Musical. Written by Robert More & Jacqueline Sadler. It’s a ‘Rush of Excitement’ as we present Oil Rush: The Big Discovery Musical, making its triumphant return after its sold-out run in 2008! Coinciding with the town’s 150th anniversary, this amazing story intertwines the past and present, paying tribute to Petrolia’s enduring legacy. June 4 to 23: RAINY DAY PEOPLE — A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot. Created by D2 Entertainment, Music Arrangements by Mark Payne, A VPP Original.  Gordon Lightfoot’s rich influence defined the essence of Canadian folk music.  Our company of extraordinary performers celebrate his iconic music and masterful storytelling. July 2 to 28: SWEET SOUL MUSIC — A Non-Stop Hit Parade. Created by D2 Entertainment, Music Arrangements by Mark Payne, A VPP Original.  Get on board the soul train as we showcase the very best music of this iconic genre. August 6 to 18:  TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE — A Life Altering Friendship. By Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom. Tuesdays with Morrie is the heartwarming true story of Mitch Albom and his former college professor, Morrie Schwartz. September 10 to 29: THE ULTIMATE FIDDLER ON THE LOOSE — All Your Fiddlin’ Favourites. Created by D2 Entertainment, Music Arrangements by Mark Payne & Jesse Grandmont, A VPP Original.  Just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any more epic, Jesse Grandmont and friends bring you the best of this highly acclaimed audience favourite. October 8 to 27: THE TONY BENNETT SONGBOOK — A Heart Full of Music. Created by D2 Entertainment, Music Arrangements by Mark Payne, A VPP Original. The everlasting music of Tony Bennett is highlighted in this very special theatrical concert. Experience some of his most powerful music with soaring voices and stunning arrangements.
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