Tuesday, May 27, 2008

December 14-16: FIRST CHRISTMAS Reunites Original Company!

Just yesterday I was sitting with a friend from Regent College, talking about the people who founded Pacific Theatre with me 24 years ago. Talking about our very first show, FIRST CHRISTMAS: AN ENTERTAINMENT, and reflecting on how different those times were - and yet, how much connection there still is.  Our annual CHRISTMAS PRESENCE is a fixture at PT, evenings of readings and music woven together (however loosely) into some sort of vaguely cohesive celebration - essentially, a pulled-together-on-the-spot version of the first production the company ever mounted, back in 1984.  (Even stranger, I was on the phone with someone from Rosebud yesterday - they needed Father Damien's glasses for their production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - who knew they had lepers in Russia in 1905? - and when she needed to phone the office to make some arrangements, she asked if the number was 222-8226.  Oy vey. Some sort of time warp thing going on here?)

Well, this morning I received confirmation from the last of the original performers.  In celebration of the company's 25th Anniversary Season, the three performances of CHRISTMAS PRESENCE which we stage at Pacific Theatre will feature the founding PT company reading the pieces that comprised our debut production.  Allen Desnoyers, Elaine Adamian, Byron Linsey, Roy Salmond and I - backed by the Nelson Boschmann Trio and Michael Hart Spencer Capier and Brett Ziegler and Rick Colhoun and who knows who else, that ever-expanding Christmas Presence house band - will revisit the show that started it all.  (The off-site performances, at Sutherland Chapel in North Vancouver and the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium in Clearbrook, will be CHRISTMAS PRESENCE as usual).

If you were a Pacific Theatre fan in those earliest days - if you saw FIRST CHRISTMAS or BACKSTAGE TOUR or THE ZEAL OF THY HOUSE or FISH TALES or INTO AN EMPTY ROOM - we're going to hold a whole lot of seats for you for the Sunday, December 14 performance, as well as a smattering of seats for the 15th and 16th.  We can't hold them forever - CHRISTMAS PRESENCE always sells out early, mostly to our subscribers, and they'll be clamoring for tickets - but if you go back to that very first season or two at PT, call the box office soon (604 731-5518) and we'll make sure you get a seat.  (Once I can confirm numbers and dates with the box office, we'll provide an actual cut-off date for those "birthday party" seats.)

I'm so psyched!  Anybody else remember "The Truth From Above"?  


PS  At the risk of sounding all corporate and everything, I do want to mention that the Rosedale On Robson Suite Hotel is the sponsor of all five of this year's CHRISTMAS PRESENCE events, the three at PT plus the off-site shows on the North Shore and in the Valley.  Now, that might sound all official and corporate-sponsorship-agreement-y to you, but not to me.  These folks are our pals, very much a part of the Pacific Theatre circle, just like any of our other fans: fact is, they contacted us out of the blue to ask if they could help us out in the first place!  They provide us with free accommodations for visiting out-of-town artists (see the FIRST CHRISTMAS tie-in?), they send us bucks that help keep the whole operation operating, and they include promotion of our shows in their radio advertising - all at their initiative.  Can you believe it?  So it's more than just their name on our programme: they're every bit as much a part of Pacific Theatre as our artists, our volunteers, or anybody else in our audience.  No wonder they won the 2007 Globe & Mail Business and the Arts Partnership Award - national recognition for their enthusiastic support of Pacific Theatre.

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