Gallery 7 Theatre is once again partnering with Vancouver’s Pacific Theatre in presenting Christmas Presence, a holiday favourite featuring an eclectic mix of inspiring stories and music sure to lift the spirits.
“It’s the family dinner where everyone suddenly brings an instrument out and we all start jamming”, says Pacific Theatre’s artistic director, Ron Reed. “It’s the un-slickest Christmas show in town. Where else can you hear the work of David Sedaris, Stuart McLean and Madeline L’Engle all in one night?”
Christmas Presence brings light, love and music to the stage as a group of musicians and actors convene on the night of the show to tell stories, share songs, and celebrate the season. Originally titled First Christmas when it debuted in 1984, Christmas Presence allows local artists to share in the joy of creation on stage. Singers, songwriters, musicians and storytellers sing traditional (and not-so-traditional) songs and improvise together to create a magical, inviting spell.
“This show is so different and unique,” says Ken Hildebrand, artistic director of Gallery 7 Theatre. “With all the hustle and bustle of the season, Christmas Presence gives audiences a chance to sit back, enjoy some outstanding music and listen in on some entertaining stories that gently remind us of the true meaning of the season.”
This year’s show will feature dramatic readings by both Hildebrandt and Ron Reed. They’ll be joined on-stage by musicians from throughout the Lower Mainland including Langley-based duo, The Kwerks, as well as Jon Ochsendorf, Jamison Isaak, Rachel Button, Nelson Boschmann, Chris Hawley, Becca Birkner and Rick Calhoun.
“Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without Christmas Presence,” says performer and musical director Nelson Boschman, who has been attending the show since 1996.
Christmas Presence happens Sunday, Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford. Tickets are available online at pacifictheatre.org or in person at House of James in Abbotsford.