BOROUGH OF BRISTOL >> The Bristol Riverside Theater (120 Radcliffe Street) is bringing back a holiday favorite and welcoming audiences home this holiday season.
âAn American Christmas Songbook,â the theater-to-theater’s first concert since 2019, brings audiences together December 9-19 for a heartwarming evening of Christmas carols and favorite songs performed by a group of BRT favorites. Former BRT Artistic Director Keith Baker returns to lead the BRT Concert Band.
Tickets range from $ 32 to $ 47, with discounts available for students and military members. For this show, spectators must present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or Antigen) performed within 48 hours of the show start time. Users must also wear a mask. For tickets and health protocols, visit brtstage.org or call 215-785-0100.
âChristmas keeps everyone happy throughout the month of December,â said Ken Kaissar, BRT production manager. âI can’t wait to rediscover all this happiness and joy in our theater. BRT is a place where people can come and feel happy. So I can’t wait to put on a show that will spread that joy and prepare everyone for a wonderful holiday season. After the last two years, we have gained the opportunity to be happy again. With the sound of eight singers and a group of five musicians, we will create a lot of joy. I can’t wait for our audience to experience it.
Winter chill is in the air as Keith Baker and the BRT Concert Band, accompanied by fabulous performers, take the stage to perform your favorite Christmas carols and heartwarming holiday songs. The public won’t want to miss this opportunity to celebrate the holidays in style! Each holiday season, BRT creates a holiday favorites night played alongside a full band. Audiences can expect songs like “Twelve Days of Christmas”, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, “Wizards in Winter” and “Last Christmas”. The cast includes BRT favorites: Demetria Joyce Bailey, Meredith Beck, Elyse Langley, Gary Lumpkin, Jon Reinhold, Dominick Sannelli, Michele Sexton and Keith Spencer.
Keith Baker returns to lead the BRT Concert Band and play the piano. The group also includes Rob Gargiullo on bass, Kathy Goff on percussion, Neil Nemetz on guitar and Claudia Pellegrini on violin. Andrew Deppen is designing the holiday-themed decor for the concert. Joe Doran is the lighting designer who creates the festive mood. Actors will be dressed in their finery with costumes from resident BRT costume designer Linda Bee Stockon. This happy evening was originally designed by Baker.
âOne of the biggest hits to our audience during COVID was the fact that we couldn’t do our annual Christmas concert,â Kaissar said. âThis is one of our most popular programs. We got so many calls last year asking if we can do An American Christmas Songbook. Keith Baker and our singers were heartbroken to disappoint the audience. Instead, they volunteered to reunite and record a special concert that they posted on YouTube last December. So this year, they’re excited to be back in person and filling the Christmas audience in person! We are all very excited.
About the performers
Demetria Joyce Bailey is thrilled to be back at BRT after serving as God’s spokesperson and making her debut as an assistant director in An Act of God with Kim Wayans. Scene: Woodstock 50 BRT; Regional: Nurse in The Sunshine Boys BRT, Ms. Phelps in Matilda The Musical Walnut Street Theater; Work: A BRT Musical; Mama Morton Chicago with Justin Guarini Media Theater; Electra in Gypsy with Tovah Feldshuh and Robert Newman BRT. TV: California Rep in Netflix’s House of Cards, Pearlene Scott in HBO’s The Wire, The Nurse in CBS’s Hack. Take more than just souvenirs home, pick up a CD – âLet The Good Times Rollâ and / or âTakin ‘a Chanceâ¦â in the lobby. Follow Demetria on www.demetriabailey.com.
Meredith Beck is delighted to return to the BRT stage after performing at the Cabaret just before closing. She recently played Sally in Cabaret, Sheila in A Chorus Line and Eliza in My Fair Lady at the Bucks County Center for the Performing Arts. Other regional credits include LIZZIE (11thHour), 1776 (Media), National Passtime (Bucks County Playhouse), Marvelous Wonderettes (Merry Go Round), and ‘F’ Word (Radiant Bloom). Meredith Visits with Ethel & Mary: Together Off- Broadway! – recreating the roles of Mary Martin. She is the founder / flautist of the Celtic Trio, The Galway Girls! Meredith is vice chair of the Philadelphia Liaison Committee for the Actors Equity Association. BFA College Ithaca www.meredithbeck.com
Elyse Langley is thrilled to be back at BRT to sing some of her favorite songs! She recently appeared on the Broadway Spectacular as well as many other seasonal concerts at the BRT. Regional credits: 1776 (Abigail Adams, Media Theater), Man of La Mancha (TUTS, TX), Kiss Me, Kate (Kate, NJPAC), A Fireside Christmas (Fireside Theater, WI) Sweeney Todd (NJPAC). In addition to studying at the William Esper acting studio in New York City, Elyse holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Rider University. Elyse is proud to be a member of the AEA. Other favorite credits include: Legally Blonde (Vivienne, Mac-Haydn), Ragtime (Emma Goldman, Princeton Univ.), Midnight Madness (Titania, NYMF). All my love always to James .www.elyselangley.com
Gary Lumpkin returns to BRT. He recently graduated from Wagner College. Some of his favorite previous roles include: Cornelius in Hello, Dolly! (Clear Space Theater Company), Martin Van Buren in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Wagner College) and Leaf Coneybear in 25th. Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Wagner College) to name a few. Many thanks to his amazing friends and family. Stay with him on Instagram @garylumpkin
Dominick Sannelli: Regional: Crazy For You (Mingo) at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Jesus Christ Superstar (ensemble) The Producers (Scott / Ensemble) Sunshine Boys (Patient U / S Benjamin) Pirates Of Penzance (ensemble) at Bristol Riverside Theater, Sign from the Seahorse (Captain Finny / Dance), Kennedy Center. Guided Tours: The Wizard of Oz by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Ensemble / U / S Uncle Henry). Other Theater credits: Madagascar (Dreamworks workshop) “21” the musical (world premiere), Pittsburgh Playhouse. TV: Hairspray Live Philadelphia (NBC / Universal) Film: Silver Linings Playbook. Love and gratitude to the best family in the world.
Michele Sexton is delighted to be back on the BRT stage! Michele has performed extensively with opera companies, festivals, theaters, and musical groups across the United States, Europe, and Asia, including a six-week tour of China as a soprano soloist with the Hollywood Concert Orchestra; and critically acclaimed performances of Beggar Woman in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with the Hawaii Opera Theater and the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. Other recent engagements include appearances with the Metropolitan Opera Guild at Lincoln Center in New York City and the Garden State Symphonic Band. Earlier this year, Michele made her debut with the St. Petersburg Opera Co. in Florida, receiving rave reviews for her portrayal of Lili / Kate in Kiss Me Kate.
Keith Spencer is delighted to be back on the BRT stage. Preferred Roles: Coalhouse Walker, Jr. (Ragtime); Joe (Show the boat); The Abolitionist (For Glory: The Civil War Musical); Audrey II (Little Shop of Horrors); Main player (Pippin); Billy (Carousel). Over the past few years, Keith has developed a series of programs celebrating the African American cultural experience and music performed by renowned African American artists. Keith presented his one-man show, Brothers on Broadway-Celebrating the African-American Leading Men of Broadway in partnership with the Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey to record attendance at the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial. Thanks to Amy, Penelope and the wonderful twins, Zachary and Vivian, for their love and support. # blacklivesmatter-keithspencer.com
HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS
All members of the public will be required to wear masks at all times inside the theater and to present full proof of vaccination * with corresponding ID (a photo or copy of your vaccination record is acceptable) OR proof of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or Antigen) taken within 48 hours of the performance start time.
* Full vaccination means the run date must be at least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or at least 14 days after a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. For future shows, stay tuned for ongoing updates that follow CDC, state, and local guidelines.
For ongoing COVID protocols, BRT has upgraded its filtration to a MERV-13 as recommended by the CDC. The theater will continue with thorough and more frequent disinfection with products recommended by the CDC and special attention to high-contact areas. The theater has installed contactless paper towel dispensers in all bathrooms. Hand sanitizer will be available in the lobby at all times. Updated health and safety protocols will be updated on the website during the season for each show and special event.
During the New Year, audiences will experience a mystery between two high school students in Lauren Gunderson’s I and You (January 25 to February 13, 2022). Then, the audience will burst into laughter at the hilarious A Comedy of Tenors by Ken Ludwig (March 8 to March 27, 2022). The season ends with Aaron Sorkin’s searing masterpiece, A Few Good Men (May 3 – May 22, 2022).
Memberships for the 2021-22 season are still available starting at $ 105. Single tickets are also on sale starting at $ 43. For more information, visit www.brtstage.org.