A church Christmas pageant spins comically out of control in Christmas Belles, a southern farce about squabbling sisters, family secrets, a surly Santa, a vengeful sheep and a reluctant Elvis impersonator.
It’s Christmas-time in the small fictional town of Fayro, Texas, and the Futrelle Sisters – Frankie, Twink and Honey Raye – are not exactly in a festive mood.
But “the show must go on,” and despite a cast and crew made up of town folk who create problem after problem, the feuding sisters find a way to pull together in order to present a Christmas program the citizens of Fayro will never forget.
Their hilarious holiday journey through a misadventure-filled Christmas Eve is chronicled in Christmas Belles, which features a husband and wife duo from Maple Ridge. Actress Judith Betzler plays Frankie Futrelle Dubberly, one of the sisters, and her husband Brian Johnston plays John Curtis.
“It’s always so exciting working on a new piece, and a comedy is always a hit” says director Angela Bell.
“When I choose a play, I specifically have the audience in mind. I’ve been doing this long enough to know what they like. They enjoy a fun evening out – and that’s exactly what we have put together for them.”
Bell is well known to Langley audiences as the reservations person and past president of the Langley Players and also starred in several Emerald Pig Theatrical Society productions, including A Particular Class of Women.
This time around, Bell is joined by co-director Cindy Peterson.
The two are extremely proud of every one of the cast and crew who have worked together to put the show on.
“Watching these dedicated and talented actors bring this dysfunctional but loving family to life before our eyes has been a treat. It may be illegal to laugh as much as we have,” said Peterson.
“I have so enjoyed collaborating with Angela on the creative process, working with someone who is as much a perfectionist as I am has truly been a pleasure! And I have been made to feel so welcome by everyone at this club, making my first -hopefully, not last – experience directing at Langley a wonderful one.”
Written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, Bell says the play has actors laughing during rehearsal.
“It’s been a real treat, the play is so funny we are always laughing during rehearsal – in fact, it’s almost been something of a challenge for the actors to not laugh during a scene,” says Bell.
“It gets hard to remain serious about the job we’re doing, but a big part of the reason we are all in theatre is to have fun ourselves, so we seem to have a real winner on our hands in every way.”
Producer Cyndy Dwyer has worked with Bell on the last three shows she has directed for Langley.
“You will definitely lose yourself in the laughter. It’s a timely seasonal family comedy, and we’re pleased to be offering this production suitable for all ages” Dwyer added.
Christmas Belles runs Thursdays to Sundays from Oct. 18 to Nov. 17 at the Langley Playhouse, 4307 – 200th Street in Brookswood. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There are Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. All tickets are $15. For reservations, call 604-534-7469, or email email@example.com. Visit www.langleyplayers.com for more information.