‘A Very Perry Christmas’ to open for seven-show run

Photo courtesy Bill Hudson
Perry Davis Harper and Amy Harper rehearse with some of the children who will be doing the professional actors and musicians in the holiday performances of “A Very Perry Christmas” at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. This original Thingamajig production opens tomorrow night, Friday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale at pagosacenter.org or by calling 731-7469.

By Bill Hudson
Special to The PREVIEW
A group of Pagosa Springs’ favorite theater artists and musicians, including actors/vocalists Perry Davis Harper, Amy Harper and Johanna Laverty, plus saxophonist and vocalist Bob Hemenger, pianist and vocalist Taryn Palmer, drummer Greg Booher, guitarist Will Spears and bassist James Kiker, will be combining their considerable talents to create “A Very Perry Christmas” on the heels of another exciting Broadway in the Mountains summer season with the Thingamajig Theatre Company.
“We’ve put together a wide range of music for this show,” said Davis Harper, who conceived the production with Thingamajig Executive Director Laura Moore and Artistic Director Tim Moore. “So there’s something for everyone, I think — dating from the 1300s, with Franz Gruber’s ‘Stille Nacht’ to the Harry Connick Jr. style ‘It Must’ve Been Old Santa Claus.’
“And we’ve got a new take on ‘You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch’ because they recently released a new animated version of that story. Bob Hemenger will be singing that one.
“We’re having a lot of fun with the Golden Age style of songs from the great old Christmas movies that our audience grew up watching. And the songs span much of the globe as well. ‘Stille Nacht’ is, of course, originally a German composition that we know as ‘Silent Night’ and we’re also traveling to Texas, Italy, Hawaii and Ireland.”
Davis Harper will be playing an Irish-style drum called a bodhrán for the Irish song, “Christmas in Killarney.” The song list also tips a wide-brimmed hat to the American West with John Denver’s “Aspenglow” and Steve Weisberg’s “Christmas for Cowboys.”
“A Very Perry Christmas” — an original family-friendly musical showcase featuring more than 30 holiday favorites — will open at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts (PSCA) tomorrow night, Friday, Dec. 13, with a few special guests, plus a dozen young Whatchamawhozits from Davis Harper’s new children’s theater class. The show will offer a total of seven performances, running through Dec. 24.
“A lot of people have asked — and this show is definitely going to be ‘family-friendly,’” Perry explained. “One of the performances is on Christmas Eve, so we absolutely wanted a show that the whole family could enjoy. There’s something for everybody, but also come to sing along. If you feel like singing along, then go ahead and sing along, because that’s really what we want you to do — is to be part of this Christmas party.”
“We are blessed to be spending our first Christmas in Pagosa Springs,” said Harper. “Our family loves this time of year and the traditions that come with it — some passed down through the years and some we’ve established in our own home. Perry, our children, and I are excited to share our family traditions with you and yours.”
Thingamajig Theatre has two more shows in production for the 2019-2020 winter season. “A Grand Night for Singing” is a fully produced show featuring classic songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein from famous Broadway shows. It opens on Saturday, Dec. 21, and runs through Jan. 12, 2020.
“The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995” features a hilarious script by playwright Jennifer Faletto that was workshopped at Thingamajig Theatre’s 2018 Playwright Festival. It takes the audience on a laugh-out-loud visit to the stalls of the girls’ restroom in a Texas high school, where all the secrets unfold. “Texas Homecoming Revolution” opens on Jan. 31, 2020, and runs through Feb. 9, 2020.
Tickets for “A Very Perry Christmas” — and the other two winter season shows — can be purchased on the PSCA website, pagosacenter.org, or by calling the box office at 731-7469 (SHOW).
Thingamajig Theatre Company is an award-winning professional nonprofit theater in residence within the PSCA. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round. Their mission is to provide high-quality theater experiences at a low cost to our community, thereby making art accessible as well as providing a major economic driver for our tourist industry. They also provide youth — many of whom are recipients of scholarships — with low-cost, hands-on educational opportunities to see and participate in professional productions of important plays.

This story was posted on December 12, 2019.