December 15, 2015 | View on Facebook
Photos by Stewart Edmonds
“The Holiday Spectacular is something anyone can enjoy,” says Gracie Vaughan. “It doesn’t matter if you are aged 5 or 90, there is going to be something for you.”
As a student of Red Mountain Theatre‘s Conservatory program, Vaughan is thrilled to be one of the young performers in this year’s Holiday Spectacular. A December tradition for many Birmingham families, the annual Holiday Spectacular celebrates the season with singing, dancing, comedy, and even a bit of snow.
“My favorite part of the show to perform is when we sing ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’,” says Vaughan. “We are all so connected to each other, and we feature some of our group members who play instruments, which is really cool.”
The Holiday Spectacular premiered at Red Mountain Theatre’s downtown Cabaret Theatre earlier this month, and it will run through December 20. For Vaughan, the weeks of rehearsal leading up to the show have been just as fun as the final performances.
“If you could have just a glimpse of what backstage is like, you would probably be amazed,” she says, smiling. “The work we put into this show is insane—the opening number, for instance, took about 24 hours just to put together.”
The final result is a winter wonderland of holiday cheer, from the kid-friendly comedy sketches to the extravagant finale showcasing the 60+ performers in the show.
“With the cast being kid heavy, you are obviously going to be in for a fun treat, but don’t be fooled when I say ‘kids’,” Vaughan says. “We really are young professionals, so you are going to get a professionally executed show. It’s definitely a fantastic holiday event to take your whole family to.”
If you’ve been looking for some extra holiday cheer in Birmingham, look no further than the Holiday Spectacular, which promises seasonal fun for the whole family.
The Holiday Spectacular is being performed by Red Mountain Theatre Co. through December 20. With numerous sold out shows, get your tickets today for one of the final performances at http://bit.ly/21KgdJv
December 8, 2015 | View on Facebook
Photos by Stewart Edmonds
Described as “a little bit Hee-Haw” mixed with “a little bit Saturday Night Live,” the annual Red Mountain Theatre Holiday Spectacular delivers a box of Birmingham holiday cheer wrapped in a big red bow.
The show premiered this past weekend, so today we’re sitting down with local actor Brandon A. McCall to hear about why he loves performing in this year’s Holiday Spectacular.
“The Holiday Spectacular is a great time for family and friends to just come together and enjoy a night of cheer and great company,” says McCall. “It is a chance to get a head start on the Christmas spirit.”
The family-friendly variety show—which features holiday songs, skits, and comedy—stars Red Mountain Theatre Co. (RMTC) conservatory students and local performers. For McCall, the Holiday Spectacular is about bringing people together to celebrate the true meaning of the season, and that sentiment is best captured by the song “This Is My Wish.”
“It’s my favorite song to perform,” he says. “In the song is a wish for peace in the world, uniting in love, and hope in humanity. It seems quite relevant for the world today.”
From its heartwarming songs to its spirited humor, it seems the Holiday Spectacular leaves each audience member with a big smile by the end of the show. And if you’ve never been before, make the Holiday Spectacular one of your family’s favorite traditions starting this year.
“No matter if you celebrate Christmas for religious reasons, to spend time with family, or just because you enjoy the festivities, Christmas brings a joy that all people can relate to,” says McCall. “And the Holiday Spectacular celebrates just that.”
The Holiday Spectacular is currently being performed at RMTC’s Cabaret Theatre in downtown Birmingham, and it will run until December 20. See highlights from the show below, and get your family tickets for an upcoming performance at http://bit.ly/21KgdJv
September 8, 2015 | View on Facebook
“Seeing a production at Red Mountain Theatre is truly seeing Broadway talent for a Birmingham price,” says stage actress Lexie Dorsett Sharp, a Magic City native who has performed across the world in Broadway national tours. “The quality and talent that is being cultivated here in Birmingham is on par with any professional production.”
This month, Sharp (Young Frankenstein, The Addams Family) returns home to perform in Red Mountain Theatre Company’s production of “Big Fish,” an adaptation of the book and Tim Burton movie of the same name. The story centers on Edward Bloom, who, while on his deathbed, tells his son fantastical, larger-than-life tales from his past.
“All of the characters in ‘Big Fish’ are southern characters and written in a truthful way,” explains Sharp, who plays the mother role of Sandra Bloom. “This cast really nails southern culture, which gives the show a lot of heart.”
The story is written by Daniel Wallace, an alum of The Altamont School here in Birmingham; consequently, much of the narrative takes place in Alabama. From a scene that plays out at Auburn University to mentions of state capitol Montgomery, audiences will find hometown familiarity in this widely-known production.
The whimsical storyline is brought to life by a score written by Andrew Lippa (“I’ve left rehearsal humming the songs from day one!” Sharp says). Sharp particularly enjoys performing the number “I Don’t Need a Roof,” a heartfelt song that shows a soft, vulnerable side to her character.
“It is one of those beautiful songs in musical theatre in which the message of the song and the way it is written are so perfectly aligned,” she says.
For Sharp, the chance to return to Birmingham and perform in this musical with Red Mountain Theatre Company will be one of her favorite moments in her acting career.
“Red Mountain is a stage I can always call home,” she says, smiling. “It is so wonderful to have an artistic community to come back to that welcomes me with open arms.”
Set to premiere this Friday, September 11, the show will run through October 4 at Red Mountain Theatre Company’s cabaret theatre. As an added treat, author Daniel Wallace will be at opening weekend doing talkbacks after the Saturday and Sunday shows.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.redmountaintheatre.org
September 17, 2015 | View on Facebook
“’Big Fish’ touches a special place in your heart and encourages you to learn your own story,” says actress Amy Johnson, who is currently performing in Red Mountain Theatre’s production of the Broadway musical. First a book by Alabama author Daniel Wallace, then a film by Tim Burton, the timeless story about one man’s journey through life is currently being performed here in Birmingham through October 4.
Johnson plays The Witch, an enchantress who main character Edward Bloom meets as a teenager. When the Witch shows Edward how he is going to die, he spends the rest of his life embarking on fantastical adventures that turn into stories he tells his son.
“The Witch is such a cool role to play,” says Johnson. “She’s mysterious and maybe a little creepy, but I think she sees something special in Edward.”
Besides the whimsical characters and music, what makes this show so special for audience members is that it takes place in our home state of Alabama. Amidst Edward’s encounters with a 9-foot-tall giant, a mermaid, and a werewolf ringleader lies a heartwarming story woven by the common threads that unite us all.
“I think Birmingham folks inherently have a lot of hometown pride, and they’ll find a little piece of themselves and their own journey in this magical show,” says Johnson, who connects personally with the familial storyline.
“I grew up in a rural town in Alabama, and like Edward, my dad traveled a lot for a living,” she explains. “I can remember getting post cards from the cities my dad visited and hearing stories about his travels.”
As Edward ages from a teenager, to a father, to an elderly man—sharing his life stories along the way, of course—the real reason behind his fantastical tales starts to emerge. We’d tell you how it ends, but that would ruin the magic.
Get your tickets to see the show, which is being performed every Thursday through Sunday until October 4. Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased online at www.redmountaintheatre.org