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Stellar cast lights up the stage with The Other Side of the Pole

Prime Stock Theatre’s latest offers up a magical holiday mix

If you find yourself lacking in regards to Christmas spirit, you may want to check out Prime Stock Theatre’s engaging production of The Other Side of the Pole.

Performances run through to Dec. 23rd at the Welikoklad Event Centre with curtain at 7:30 p.m. There are also 2 p.m. matinees as well.

From start to finish, the show is completely entertaining, buoyed by a troupe of terrific actors, a fabulous set and lighting design and catchy, charming tunes – all under the very capable direction of Ian Leung.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students and $15 for seniors. For children under 12, the cost is $5.

Tickets are available at the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre, online at bkticketcentre.ca or at the door. For more information, visit www.primestocktheatrecompany.com.

Making the show that much more special is that it is the very same production that launched Prime Stock in Red Deer 23 years ago, in the old Kresge’s building. Penned by Stephen Heatley and Marney Heatley, the show actually premiered in the City in 1982 at Red Deer College.

As to the show, its sparkling originality shines through at every turn.

As mentioned, a huge part of that stems form the exceptional cast – Erin Pettifor, Jaimi Reese, Emily Howard, Silverius Materi, Ben Stevens and Ben Oomen.

Morgan McKee is serving as musical director, and rounding out the creative team are set designer Daniel Van Heyst, costume designer Gwen McCagg and Billy Robinson on light design. Kudos to all for lending their superb talents to the show, which moves along at a nice pace as we become more acquainted with the goings-on in Split Hoof.

Christmas has been banned in Split Hoof, Alberta for 10 years now, and eight-year-old Sandy Kringle (played by Howard) is determined to find out why, and what all this ‘Christmas’ stuff is anyway? With the help of newcomer Willy Witherspoon (Oomen), she uncovers the identity of a mysterious lodger and reveals family secrets long kept hidden.

Howard and Oomen are just tremendous in these central roles, capturing the child-like wonder, fun and mischievousness of their characters perfectly. Every single scene they are in is a delight, as are those including Sandy’s parents – Pix (Reese) and Alex (Materi). All four bring a rich sense of charisma to their respective roles, conveying the emotional and personal journeys that each of them are on during the course of the play.

Stevens is also excellent as John Smith, who has a few surprising secrets of his own, and Pettifor as Mylar lights up each scene that she’s a part of, which unfortunately aren’t too many.

Still, as an ensemble, there just isn’t a weak link. The compelling blend of professionalism, natural chemistry and raw talent that exudes from this group is in itself a real ‘gift’ this holiday season.

As Thomas Usher, artistic director of Prime Stock shared in an earlier interview, it’s a sweet-natured, warm and even moving Christmas show. Hopefully more folks will include it in their plans this holiday season.

As mentioned earlier, tickets for The Other Side of the Pole! A Christmas Family Musical are available at the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre.

Go online to bkticketcentre.ca, or they are also available at the door.

Visit www.primestocktheatrecompany.com.

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