Valley Vic and the Christmas Temptations
What happens when a Motown-style girl group is dispatched from Hell to ruin Christmas in the Ottawa Valley as they've done elsewhere? What happens when the first person they encounter in their mission is Valley Vic, Stone Fence Theatre's iconic symbol of all things good about old-time Valley life? What happens when Vic's daughter, Alice, gets wind of what's going on?
You can only find out in Valley Vic and the Christmas Temptations, the latest original new musical comedy from Stone Fence Theatre and its producer/playwright Ish Theilheimer and directed by Chantal Elie-Sernoskie.
"A number of people involved with the company helped me come up with the concept for the show," says Mr. Theilheimer. "One of the things that brings us all together is how fond we are of the Valley and its community-minded values. So the idea of a 60s-style girl group dispatched by the Devil to ruin things here struck us all as a hoot. It went from there."
Director Chantal Elie-Sernoskie is enthusiastic about the show and its cast. "If you want to laugh, listen to some Motown music sprinkled with Christmas cheer and be touched by the true values of the season, come out and see the show! This is a fantastic cast of actors and musicians and some wonderful new Stonefencers that we are excited to introduce such as Schroeder, Derek and Rita Tolhurst, Bryan, Lawrie Barton, Shirley Hill and Kaylee Garcia. I am happy also to involve some very talented Kilalloe youth in this production!"
Two veteran Stone Fence Theatre stars return with the show: "Valley Vic," otherwise known as Killaloe's Ambrose Mullin as Valley Vic and Fran Pinkerton, one of the Ottawa Valley's most popular vocalists.
The play especially features Kaylee Garcia of Pembroke as Vic's daughter, Alice. Kaylee has appeared in Street Lights Theatre productions and in concert. It also introduces Shirley Hill of Cobden as Vic's neighbour lady Wanda, who has her cap set for him.
The band features Schroeder Nordholt (Killaloe) on keys, Bryan Walsh (Killaloe) on guitar, Derek Tolhurst (Cobden) on bass, and Robin Pinkerton (Eganville) on drums, along with Musical Director Ish Theilheimer playing rhythm guitar and fiddle.
"Although I'm known for playing fiddle music, I grew up listening to the The Drifters, Sam and Dave, Aretha, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and all the other R&B and soul music greats of the late '60s," says Theilheimer. "The music is inspired by these geniuses and the unsung heroes who wrote the songs and accompanied them."
Ms. Elie-Sernoskie is also enthusiastic about Christmas and the show's message. "Ish has a great gift for reinventing an age-old theme and making it pertinent to our area, our era and finding a different angle. This show is exactly that. Its relaying a message that the holiday season has been morphed into a giant artificial monster, and its so important for us to always be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas."
The company hopes to perform this show in various locations at holiday time throughout coming years.