BROOKSVILLE — Singing Christmas carols, listening to stories while sitting in front of the fireplace, watching twinkling Christmas lights. For many, these are the feelings that trigger memories of Christmases past.
Such memories will be reignited when the Live Oak Theatre Company presents A Live Oak Fireside Christmas this weekend at Faith Presbyterian Church. The original production includes a potpourri of Christmas songs, stories and recollections.
"This show features Christmas music that we have all grown to love through the years," said co-director Randi Olsen. "It is in the style of old-time Christmas shows that we grew up with."
Olsen said the show reminds her of old-time shows, like the Andy Williams Christmas Show of the 1960s and '70s and Barbara Mandrell's Christmas from the 1980s.
Olsen said the show is the "brainchild" of co-director Ron Dykes, who compiled the production with the assistance of Olsen and Kyle Marra.
"It is similar to something I did in Pennsylvania," Dykes said. "It gives the audience a Christmas treat with lots of pieces of the holiday. …There will be something for everyone."
Similar to a revue or variety show, A Live Oak Fireside Christmas has a cast of about 30 adult and youth who will perform a variety of skits to include singing, readings, dancing and plenty of audience participation. There will be both secular and religious pieces that will have comedy and drama — with numbers such as the Gift of the Magi, a comical take on the family Christmas newsletter, music from the Polar Express and classics like Santa Claus is Coming to Town.
"It is a compilation of different pieces on Christmas," said co-director Ron Dykes. "It gives an evening of entertainment that will rekindle people with their Christmas spirit."
The show comes on the heels of Live Oak Theatre's recent announcement of its capital campaign to raise funding to purchase a building within the historical district of Brooksville. With their own building, the 8-year-old nonprofit organization hopes to bring expanded production seasons, as well as classes in music and the performing arts for both adults and children.
"It will be a performing arts school and theater," said Olsen, Live Oak's founder and artistic director. "We hope it will enhance everything that is already here in downtown Brooksville. ... It is such an amazing little town."