Two Events to Spark Some Holiday Cheer - 27 East

Arts & Living

Arts & Living / 2220936

Two Events to Spark Some Holiday Cheer

icon 8 Photos
Memphis singer and pianist Jason D. Williams performs

Memphis singer and pianist Jason D. Williams performs "Rockabilly Christmas" along with Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks, and The Vendettas at Suffolk Theater on December 15. COURTESY SUFFOLK THEATER

Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks perform in

Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks perform in "Rockabilly Christmas" at Suffolk Theater on December 15. RANDEE POST DADDONA

Gene Casey's single

Gene Casey's single "Here Come the Holidays" was released in 2012.

Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks perform in

Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks perform in "Rockabilly Christmas" at Suffolk Theater on December 15. BARBARA PALUMBO

Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks perform in

Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks perform in "Rockabilly Christmas" at Suffolk Theater on December 15. RANDEE POST DADDONA

Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks perform in

Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks perform in "Rockabilly Christmas" at Suffolk Theater on December 15. RANDEE POST DADDONA

The cast of

The cast of "A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play" at Hampton Theatre Company from left: Roger Moley, Catherine Maloney, Terrance Fiore, George Loizides, Andrew Botsford, Rosemary Cline, Matthew Conlon (as Scrooge) and Amanda Griemsmann. LUCINDA MORRISEY

The cast of

The cast of "A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play" at Hampton Theatre Company from left: Roger Moley, Catherine Maloney, Terrance Fiore, George Loizides, Andrew Botsford, Rosemary Cline, Matthew Conlon (as Scrooge) and Amanda Griemsmann. LUCINDA MORRISEY

Leah Chiappino on Dec 10, 2023

The East End is not lacking in holiday shows this year. We have compiled a list of must-see holiday productions on the East End to spread some holiday cheer this week, including two great offerings west of the Shinnecock Canal.

“A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play” in Quogue

The Hampton Theatre Company is set to present “A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play” at Quogue Community Hall on the weekend of December 15 to 17.

In previous years, the company has presented “Miracle on 34th Street,” performed on video during the pandemic, and “It’s a Wonderful Life” in radio play format. The show’s co-director Andrew Botsford, working alongside Roger Moley, the president of the company, is excited to bring back the unique format this year.

“We knew we wanted to do another radio play, and we wanted to do it as a holiday special,” Botsford said. “‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’ are down through the ages. Those are considered the most Christmassy shows … a lot of people watch the movie of ‘A Christmas Carol,’ and it’s been remade a million times. And it’s been done on the stage a bunch of times, but doing it as a radio play makes it easier for us for a number of different reasons. But the reason we chose it was that it’s a holiday classic.”

Playwright Joe Landry adapted the holiday classic by Charles Dickens, which tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by three Ghosts of Christmas (Past, Present, and Future) to teach him the spirit of the season.

The company aims to make holiday radio plays, based on 1940s-era radio troupes, a yearly tradition.

Company regulars Matthew Conlon, Rosemary Cline, Botsford, Rebecca Edana, George A. Loizides, Amanda Griemsmann, Terrance Fiore and Roger Moley will take on multiple roles in costume, transporting the audience to the WBFR radio station in 1940s New York City.

The radio play format allows the cast and crew to relax and enjoy the production, Botsford said. Much of the work is cut out from a traditional production. The company builds a radio set, complete with an “Applause” sign and an “On-Air” sign to keep the audience engaged in the action. Another plus, the actors can read from scripts, and there is not a ton of blocking. The low-key environment benefits the enjoyment of the audience as well.

“It still has all the earmarks of a regular production,” said Botsford. “The audience loves them. Most actors get to play multiple parts, and they’re fun for audiences because audiences like the holiday classics and really enjoy seeing actors play different parts, seeing the same person using different voices and different mannerisms without a costume change or anything else in a radio play to become a different character. So it’s fun for everybody.”

Moley and Botsford are attempting to make the play feel as realistic as possible. Moley is a musician, so they are working to add musical interludes and singing, and there’s some music for the commercials which are written into the show.

Botsford was happy with the response the company received from “It’s a Wonderful Life” last year, the company’s first radio play in the theater. The company did learn it’s best to do these shows during the day so it can be a family affair.

“A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play” will be performed at Quogue Community Hall, 125 Jessup Avenue, Quogue, on Friday, December 15, at 7 p.m., Saturday, December 16, at 2:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 17, at 2:30 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy complimentary hot cider, hot chocolate, and cookies served before the show. Lighting for the show is by Sebastian Paczynski, and costumes are by Teresa Lebrun. All tickets are $18 at hamptontheatre.org or 631-653-8955.

“Rockabilly Christmas” in Riverhead

The Suffolk Theater will present its beloved tradition, “Rockabilly Christmas,” featuring Jason D. Williams, Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks, and The Vendettas on Friday, December 15.

Williams is a pianist, singer and songwriter from Memphis, Tennessee, who recorded for RCA and Sun Records. Casey is local hero, and has been playing on the East End for 20 years, and The Vendettas are performing the 1950s jukebox hits.

“It’s extremely high energy,” Casey said of the tradition. “It’s got the mixture of a good old-fashioned Christmas show mixed in with a good old-fashioned 1950s rock and roll show. It’s not an oldies show, but it’s got the classic vibe of a Christmas show.”

Casey and his band have been performing at The Suffolk for Christmas for several years, stopping only for the pandemic. He’s excited to share three original songs this year, including the single released in 2021, “Here Come the Holidays,” a classic rock ’n’ roll Christmas song. Another Christmas song written by Casey which he will perform is “A Cup of Coffee Christmas,” a country tune.

“I always thought it was just too sad to play in concert,” he said. “But it has a kind of following now. People have been requesting it.”

The song is about a father showing up at his ex-wife’s house on Christmas morning.

“He just wants to say, ‘hello’ and see the kids and be on his way because she’s got a new man and he’s coming over,” she said. “He shows up, and she gives him a cup of coffee.”

The third original song called “Christmas Lights” is about how it bothers Casey that people start taking their decorations down so soon after Christmas. They will also perform great rock and roll Christmas songs and other rock ’n’ roll tunes.

The show will be held on Friday, December 15, at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $49 to $55, plus applicable fees and are available at thesuffolk.org. Suffolk Theater is at 118 East Main Street, Riverhead.

You May Also Like:

Get Ready for Real Estate Drama: ‘Selling the Hamptons’ Season Two Comes to Max on March 1

Ashley Allen is not shy about her opinion of “Selling the Hamptons.” After watching season ... 23 Feb 2024 by Michelle Trauring

‘Living Histories’ On View at Ma’s House

Ma’s House on the Shinnecock Reservation in Southampton is currently presenting "Living Histories: Contemporary Shinnecock Stories Honoring Tradition," a solo exhibition featuring the work of Shinnecock photographer Rebekah Phoenix Wise. The show opened February 18 and runs through April 27 with works on view highlighting the historic and modern traditions of contemporary Shinnecock voices through themed photographic series and written insights from the artist. Rebekah Phoenix Wise (b. 1989) is a photographer who specializes in portraits and event photography. She is a proud member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation in Southampton and grew up on the Shinnecock Reservation. Her unique ... by Staff Writer

‘Love & Passion’ Art Show

The Mannix Project presents the “19th Annual Love & Passion Group Exhibition” on Saturday and ... by Staff Writer

Southampton Artists Association Winter Art Show

Southampton Artists Association (SAA) will host its “2024 Winter Art Exhibit” at the Levitas Center ... by Staff Writer

‘Generations Speak’ at Sag Harbor Cinema

Sag Harbor Cinema’s “Projections” series kicks off 2024 with “Generations Speak,” an event featuring the ... by Staff Writer

Jump into Writing with Meg Wolitzer

Want to get started writing fiction but unsure where to begin? On Sunday, March 17, ... by Staff Writer

Leap Year Birthday for Romany Kramoris

To celebrate Romany Kramoris’s 20th leap year birthday, Romany Kramoris Gallery will present delicious paintings ... by Staff Writer

Tim Kliphuis and Jimmy Grant Perform Gypsy Jazz

For its second concert of the 2024 season, Shelter Island Friends of Music presents the ... by Staff Writer

The Art of Books Opens at Southampton Arts Center

“There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.” — Oscar Wilde Since the advent of Guttenberg’s printing press in 1454 when books began getting into the hands of the common man and women, words have had the ability to inspire and motivate the masses. But not everyone has been happy about it. It’s no secret that the written word is under attack around the world. The power words possess to challenge and enlighten society is terrifying to some. Books can change minds and introduce new ideas, which is why they ... by Annette Hinkle

‘Just Mercy’ Screening and Forum in Riverhead

The Riverhead Anti-Bias Task Force and Suffolk Theater are teaming up on Wednesday, February 28, ... 19 Feb 2024 by Staff Writer