Wimberley Players Present "Christmas Belles" - A Holiday Treat
Deputy sheriff John Curtis Buntner (Perry Redden) is romantically torn between the flirtatious Honey Raye Futrelle (Juli Dearrington) and her convict sister, Twink (Amber Lackey). Photograph 2008, Jim Gillock

Christmas Belles, a zany misadventure suitable for all ages, is the holiday presentation by the Wimberley Players for 2008. The play runs every weekend from November 28th to December 14th at the Playhouse at 450 Old Kyle Road.

The play looks in on squabbling Futrelle sisters of Fayro, Texas (pop. 3,003) who are working together to put on a Christmas pageant. They are definitely not in a festive mood. Frankie's twins are overdue, Honey Raye is having hot flashes and Twink is in jail. The sisters' frantic efforts to keep the annual pageant from collapsing are the basis of a hilarious comedy you don't want to miss.

Food poisoning from the Fayro Band Boosters' Pancake Supper has the cast members dropping out like flies. Santa suffers from kidney stones, one of the shepherds must have his little red wagon, and an Elvis impersonator guards the manger reluctantly. While dealing with all this, Frankie Futrelle lets slip a family secret that has been carefully guarded for decades.

"Christmas Belles" is the second play in a trilogy by three playwrights, Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and James Wooten. The first play in the trilogy, "Dearly Departed," was produced by the Wimberley Players twelve years ago. In true modern fashion, "Christmas Belles" is actually the prequel to the first play.

"This show is fun and colorful, and has an upbeat and meaningful ending," says director Shirley Marlett, who has acted in and directed numerous productions for the Players. Producer and onstage manager for "Christmas Belles" is Linda Addeo, also a Wimberley Players veteran.

Kitty Nichols ("Barefoot in the Park," "Steel Magnolias," "Arsenic and Old Lace") plays Miss Geneva Musgrave, the deposed director of the previous 27 Christmas pageants. Juli Dearrington plays the oldest Futrelle sister, Honey Raye, who agrees to be the neophyte director of the Tabernacle of the Lamb's Christmas Pageant more or less as community service. Dearrington is also arranging and choreographing the show, along with Players veteran and First Baptist Church's Music Minister, Dan Stephens. A newcomer, Amber Lackey, plays Twink Futrelle; Amber is a recent graduate of Texas State with a BFA in Theater and French. The third sister, Frankie Futrelle Dubberly, is played by Whitney Marlett Mollahan, who directed "Rose's Dilemma" and acted in "Bright Ideas" this year for the Players.

Perry Redden ("Rose's Dilemma" and "Bright Ideas") is the deputy sheriff, John Curtis Buntner. Megan Nicholson  ("Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Anything Goes") returns to the Wimberley stage as Gina Jo Dubberly. Gary Yowell ("The Gospel Accordin' to Texas") plays Dub Dubberly, her father. Other cast members include Angie Hasness as Rhonda Lynn Lampley, Gina McClure as society matron Patsy Price, Marvin Carson as Raynerd Chisum, and Jason Foreman as Interim Pastor Justin Waverly.

"As long as your young children are accustomed to thinking of department store Santas as 'helpers' of the real thing, there should be nothing objectionable in it for them," says director Marlett.

"Christmas Belles" will run weekends from November 28th - December 14th at the Playhouse, 450 Old Kyle Road. Performances are 8:00 on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 on Sundays. A matinee performance has been added for Saturday, December 13th. On opening night, November 28, a special reception will be held before and after the show, with fine hors d'oeuvres and beverages.

Tickets can be reserved by phone by calling (512) 847-0575. Beginning November 24, tickets will be available at the theatre box office Monday through Friday from 1:00-5:00. All tickets are $15 except Opening Night ($20). Visa and Mastercard are accepted.