November 21, 2023 at 7:55 a.m.

Christmas Variety Show Returns to WILLow LeaVes 12/02 & 12/03

By JENN WILLHITE | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

'Tis the season and Hope area residents are invited to come and celebrate all that makes the holiday bright as one of Hope's much-loved Christmas events returns to the WILLow LeaVes of Hope stage for two days only.

The Passion for Acting Theatre Company will offer a new take on tradition with the opening of the Christmas Variety Show at 6 p.m. Saturday, December 2 at WILLow LeaVes of Hope, located at 326 Jackson St. in Hope.

Featuring a variety of holiday-themed spoken word, music and family-friendly entertainment, the holiday dinner-theatre event includes a delicious meal served by the warm and welcoming staff of WILLow LeaVes prior to Saturday evening’s performance and Sunday’s 1 p.m. matinee.

Columbus resident Rob Taylor is no stranger to the stage, he says, and there’s just something special about this time of year – a joyous holiday spirit that he hopes to bring to the WILLow LeaVes stage.

“As we gather together with our loved ones to reflect on the past year and appreciate tangible blessings in our lives, it is wonderful to get a little nostalgic and sink comfortably into the traditions, carols, stories and dreams of Christmases past, present and future,” he says.

And though this will be his first foray into the variety show genre, Taylor is excited for the opportunity to join with so many talented individuals to make this show a reality.  

“I’ve been involved in theatre and vocal performance since high school,” he says. “I like to imagine that the swing choir, madrigals, family musical watch parties, and church services have allowed my voice to age like a fine cheese.”

Taylor describes himself as a “natural born crooner” who will perform an assortment of Christmas classics and says he hopes to hear “a whole room full of people singing along with me.”

Also taking the stage will be Columbus resident Ally Parker who plans to perform a number of Christmas favorites, she says.

“Music has shaped me to become the passionate vocalist I am today,” the 21-year-old singer says. “I am excited to share my gifts that the Lord has given me with everyone who has an opportunity to experience this Christmas Variety Show.”

This show isn’t Parker’s first time performing live as she has previously shared the stage with the talented individuals of the Passion for Acting Theatre Company, including her portrayal of Ruby Gillis in the 2019 production of “Anne of Green Gables” at WILLow LeaVes of Hope.

“I hope that this show brings light and love to all participants and audience members that can be extended into our communities,” Parker says. “The world needs more of that.”

Getting the audience in the Christmas spirit is one of several hopes that local singer-songwriter Avery Tallent has for the variety show’s run. Performing a number of beloved Christmas classics, including “Silent Night”, “Blue Christmas” and “Silver Bells,” Tallent is excited to return to the WILLow LeaVes stage.  

“I’m so excited to be a part of another growing tradition at WILLow LeaVes,” he says. “I’m sure the night will be very entertaining because there is so much talent packed into this small town.”

Tickets for this dinner-theatre production are $35 per person, includes full meal and show. 

** For more information or to make reservations, call 812-341-7251.