A Taffeta Christmas' at MLT…
By By Carolyn Fuchek-Abdella/Special to The Star
Dec. 2, 2000
What more perfect way to begin the holiday season than with the Meridian Little Theatre's performance of "A Taffeta Christmas."
Directed by Jimmy Pigford, this performance featured Karen Miller, Jennifer Hermetz, Ginger Grissom Stevens and Ann Marie Hall as a four-girl singing group in Munsey, Ind. Back home performing at the local "Moose Hall," the sister-quartet sang Christmas songs accompanied with comic dialogue.
Bubbly and somewhat giddy, the foursome opened with "Mr. Santa," followed by "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" in which the lyrics, by the end of the tune, broke into the humorous, secret language of Pig Latin. The audience responded with delight, as I'm sure they all remembered speaking that secret code as children. At one point in the performance, Karen Miller, playing the role of Kaye, went out into the audience and sweetly coaxed theatre-goer Michael Hosch to join them on stage to sing and dance to the tune of "Side by Side."
Completely unsuspecting, Hosch played along and instantly became the character named Warren. He did so well on stage that I believed he was actually one of the cast members, but as I later found out from Hosch himself at the intermission break, he was chosen completely at random.
Another highlight of the evening was Karen Miller's performance of "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth." Miller was very comical as she sang this tune with a whistle, as though she truly lacked her two front teeth. Ginger Grissom Stevens (Peggy) was seductively sexy, yet innocent, as she sang "Santa Baby."
Toward the end of the performance, the girls performed a few songs from the 1950s, such as "I Will Follow Him," sung by Ann Marie Hall (Donna) and "Dream Lover," sung by Jennifer Hermetz (Cheryl). The show ended with "Good night Sweetheart," a delightful and very appropriate way to end the performance.
One of the biggest and most impressive performances of the evening was the Alpha Hi-Steppers, starring Judy Crowson, Debbie Jackson, Phyllis Shields, JoAnn Dobbins, Jacque Longmeier, Majel Slade, Nancy Dowling, Peggy Randall and Beryl Webb. They were Meridian's answer to New York's Radio City Music Hall Rockettes as they danced, tapped and kicked their way into the hearts of the audience.
There were a lot of legs on that stage and, thus, a lot of whistles from the audience. Their costumes were beautiful, festive and sparkling. Susan Speed, wardrobe and costume designer, did a magnificent job in creating these garments.
Special recognition goes to Music Director Bob Hermetz, Choreographer Carol Merrill, Piano Accompanist Wayne McInnis, Lighting Director Kim Culpepper, Sound Director Charlie Hughs, Set Decorator Ruth Glisson and Stage Managers Jon Niccoli and Adam Whitaker.
If you missed this delightful performance, you can still catch a show tonight, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The curtain time is 8 pm. There is ample parking at the theatre, located on Highway 39 North.
For box office information, call 482-6371 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Carolyn Fuchek-Abdella is the general manager of the Meridian Symphony Orchestra.