NEW PORT RICHEY — Every holiday season for the past couple of decades, Richey Suncoast Theatre's Christmas show has been a locally written show with a story.
Sometimes, it has featured the harridan Mrs. Artiluke, head of the CAVE-dwellers (Citizens Against Virtually Everything), a unabashed parody of homeowners associations and their attempts to spoil Christmas.
Other times, it has been stories about Santa Claus or the North Pole. In 2013, it was a touching story about how theater executive director Marie Skelton is coping with the death of her late husband, Charlie, through the love and support of the RST family. The Skeltons are largely credited with saving the theater when it seemed to be on its last legs back in the late 1990s.
This year, RST is trying something altogether different: an old-fashioned variety show, with a cast of 28, ages 6 and up, singing, dancing and performing monologues related to the season.
Some of the 24 segments, such as Don't Eat a Poinsettia and Christmas with a Monkey, will feature the 6- to 8-year-olds: Chava Schuster, Nicholas Rindone, Dylan Lemmons, Kylie Hartzog, LilyAnn Ingersoll, Angelina Sylvia and Joie Robert.
Others, such as Marshmallow World and Bob Dylan's Christmas Island, will feature the 9- to 11-year-olds: Iliana Fotopolis, Toni Gihirardo, Robert Lischak, Courtney Lischak and Amaya Beebe.
The teen group features Mica Defalco, Angelina Fotopolis, Jimmy Tolbert, Angelina D'Augustino, Paige Cetnor and Trina Brown, and their numbers include A Christmas Song from Elf, the Musical, and Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.
And the adults — Cenia Wolmers, Cathy Hillard, Dianne Gillespie, Kyle J. Sigley, Kelly Hanely, Samantha Sharp, Jeff D'Augustino, Liz Onley, David Ceal and Tim Foster — will perform A Kid at Christmas from A Christmas Story, the Musical, and the Celtic Woman's Christmas Pipes.
The show also will feature several soloists and ensembles from the cast, as well as humorous and patriotic monologues, topped by an all-cast medley of songs by Irving Berlin.
Megan Gillespie directs the show, and Michele Paula Rose is music director. The choreographer is Lauren Piskothy.