A Christmas Story 2008Written by Tim Teague | | email@example.com
A True Account for the Love of the Holiday
My father held Christmas celebration above all others. He worked for Food Town when I was young. I watched him and later helped him decorate the grocery stores for the Christmas season. Our basement at home was lavishly decorated the day after Thanksgiving. He would invite many people every weekend for festivities all the way up to Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve was when St. Nicholas would come while we were at Christmas Eve church service. My mother was born and raised in Germany, so we followed the German customs more than American. On Christmas Eve we would have a large feast with family, all of their friends and neighbors coming in and out all the daylong. Then attend church at 10pm, when we came back home the presents were flowing all around the tree. The party would continue throughout the night into Christmas morning. Christmas Day was a full day of rest and recuperation, eating leftover feast, and playing with family.
My father has been gone for quite a while now, and my brother was killed five years after my father was killed. So the season of Christmas celebration slowly started to diminish. I attended the Toledo Repertoire Theater’s production of “The Christmas Carol” in 1998. Wow the story and the meaning of Christmas was rekindled inside of me, it hit home. My youngest daughter was sitting next to me during the show, and she saw my tears. She being a teenager at the time said, “What’s wrong Dad”, I replied “I want to do this show next year”. She said, “I’ll go with you to see the show”, I said “No I want to be in the show”. She told me to do it, find out how and just do it. The next year I did, I got the audition, and I got a part as the solicitor, soliciting Scrooge for money to help the less fortunate. Perfect part for me, I loved it. I have done “The Christmas Carol” every year since, with various different parts. The Cast is my Christmas family; the little children are absolutely charming. The rehearsals take a lot of time but are every bit as special as the production itself.
Last year my 4-year-old granddaughter auditioned for the “Christmas Carol” and didn’t get a part, she was a bit young yet. So I asked her if she wanted to audition this year, she said she wanted a big part; I laughed and said you may not get one. Paige Roberts is her name, said then I don’t want to try out. My very dear friend Jeff King met Paige and said she should try out for “The Night Before Christmas” at the Valentine Theater. Jeff said she would be perfect for the part of Annabelle. We took her down to the Valentine for audition, and Mr. Dale Vivirano fell in love with her. I found out after this that Jeff King is the Father of the children in that show. Paige got the part!
This is where the story becomes interesting. Me as her grandfather, want to see her in her début in that show, or any show. Paige said, “Grandpa you’ll come see me won’t you?” I told her that I could only see her in dress rehearsal, if I take a night off of my rehearsal and take her. She said, “Well I’ll come and see your show!” How do I explain to a very bright five year old that she can’t see her grandpa on stage either? The shows are the same weekend, and her rehearsals are more demanding than mine. I am doing Community Theater, and Paige is doing professional theater.
Well the character I was given this year most represents my father and his love for the holiday. Fezziwig, he tells young Scrooge there will be no more work, it’s Christmas eve, and is the host for a huge party with plenty of cold roast and ale, lot’s of dancing and singing. Just as it was for me, Fezziwig makes a life lasting impression on old Scrooge (played by my dear friend forever Paul Causman).
The little girl Annabelle in “The Night Before Christmas” is an exact character copy of my beautiful granddaughter Paige. She is just like that little girl. Paige also sings like a songbird, as you’ll see. I can’t, but I’ll be with her in prayer and spirit.
This is an actual true account.
As times get tighter, and tougher…
The best Gift you can give is one of love, compassion, and fond memories.
Make this holiday season last 365 days.
A very Happy Holidays, Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, we’re all in this together.
Please buy tickets for one or both shows, and also donate to our less fortunate Brothers and Sisters.
Tickets for “The Night Before Christmas” Directed by Dale Vivirano
At the Valentine Theater, call in at the Valentine Box Office: (419) 242-2787
Tickets for “The Christmas Carol” Directed by Gloria Moulopoulos and Debra Calabrese
At the Stranahan Theater, call in at the Stranahan Box Office: (419) 474-1333
Toledo Rep: (419) 243-9277