Photo by Diane Richter
Written and directed by Allentown's Deena Linn, longtime choreographer for the Freddy Awards, Christmas 1954 takes the characters from Linn's popular "Christmas 1944" musical revue, which delighted audiences at SteelStacks in 2011-2012, and transports them forward a decade to the advent of television and the heyday of Bethlehem Steel.
Sally, Doris, Betty, Nat and Jack are all back to celebrate the holidays in Bethlehem, and they're joined by Doris and Nat's 12-year-old daughter Linda, as well as Betty and Jack's 6-year-old-son Billy. As Linda and Billy get caught up in their desires for presents, presents and more presents, the adults step to teach them the true meaning of the holidays.
Tracy Ceschin, a 2011 Allentown Arts Ovation Award winner, returns as Sally, as does Cheryl Moritz (Doris) and Brittani Doyen (Betty). Will Morris, also an Allentown Arts Ovation Award recipient (2011, Emerging Artist), comes on board as Jack, while Will Windsor Erwin joins the cast as Nat.
Molly Schenkenberger, a 9th-grader at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, plays Linda, while Oakes Fegley, a 6-year old who has played Tiny Tim in two productions of Civic Theatre's "A Christmas Carol" is Billy.
Joining award-winning choreographer/director Linn for Christmas 1954 is musical director Kevin O'Connell, a longtime composer and pit performer in the Broadway tour of "Grease."
Complimenting Christmas 1954's charming storyline is a collection of some of the most beloved holiday songs of all time. During the show, audiences will enjoy classics ranging from "White Christmas, " "The Christmas Waltz" and "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas," to "Santa Baby," "Toyland" and "I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."
All Christmas 1954 performances include a 12:15 p.m. holiday lunch and 1:30 p.m. show. Lunch includes a duet of pan seared chicken gallette and braised beef short rib wellington; salad; mashed Yukon potatoes; Brussels sprout and carrot medley; and cherry pie with fresh cinnamon whipped cream for dessert. Beverage options are water, fresh brewed iced tea, coffee, decaffeinated coffee and hot tea.