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“Home for Christmas” at Alderwood Community Church, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 15, 2015

 

Who says Christmas plays and musicals have virtually disappeared? Not at Alderwood Community Church (ACC) in Lynnwood, where some 2,800 people attended five performances of Home for Christmas on the weekend X-IMG_7386

of 4-6 December. And another 600 attended the dress rehearsal and preview performances, for a grand total of 3,400!

No wonder. This was the 27th straight year this church has produced a Christmas show. Linda Collins, Music Director, started the tradition in 1989. And this was the second time this particular musical has been presented at ACC; the first time was in 2006. Before that, it had premiered at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle. [Where were you in 1989? That’s when I started my real estate career on Mercer Island. I was no member of any church.]

At ACC last weekend, I was one of three trumpeters who played in the orchestra. My new (to me) Getzen Eterna Severinsen trumpet arrived just in the nick of time for me to play it in all five performances (see my post about it on 14 December).

The story goes like this. Laine Wilson has invited Adam Owens to meet her family at their home on Christmas Eve. Adam intends to “pop the question” and has an engagement ring in his pocket. But things go amiss, and therein lies some comedy. For one thing, the image he presents to her father, a very successful, nationally known psychologist and author, Dr. Ron, does not go well. Meanwhile, there are songs to be sung, dances to be danced, and stories to be told. Through it all, he feels worse and worse, loses all confidence, and gets ice-cold feet. Just as he is about to give up, turn around and walk away, Laine poses a life-changing question. How does he respond? What lessons does he learn? You’ll have to see it to believe it.

The script, written and copyrighted by Lauri Evans Deason of Los Angeles, has no music. It simply indicates where it is appropriate to insert music. Ultimately, Linda Collins chose the 10 pieces of music for choir and orchestra that were used in this production, converting what was an allegorical stage play into a musical. For this production, Deason updated the original script, mostly changing some dialogue to reflect “the way our culture has been forever altered by (among other things) smart phone apps, selfies, and a certain snow queen we’d never heard of in 2005.” She called this opportunity “the best anniversary present ever.”

As I have said, I like musicals that plant a melody in my head and have me singing afterwards (see my posts of 6 June 2014, and 23 April 2015, about the musicals, A Room With a View, and A Time for Christmas, respectively). In this case, on the day after the last performance, I found myself humming phrases from three pieces of music:

  • “The Sounds of Christmas” Arr by Bradley Knight
  • “Happy Birthday, Jesus” by Carol Cymbala
  • “Oh, What a Love!” by Carol Cymbala

Linda Collins told me that another great piece, “Laine’s Song,” was written especially for this musical back in 2006, by the pianist in the ACC orchestra, Darla Sewall. It was orchestrated by Sherry Joos.

I suppose ACC (see http://www.alderwoodchurchfamily.org/) will get around to presenting this production again in another 9 or 10 years. When they do, “Try it. You’ll like it.”

Please click on any photo below to enlarge it. All were taken by John Crozier of Edmonds (see http://www.crozierphotography.com).

 

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