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Theater-apalooza - Holiday Edition: Bend community theater, from Dickens to "Gunsmoke" 

click to enlarge The Around the Bend players bring you some old timey Christmas shows.
  • The Around the Bend players bring you some old timey Christmas shows.
The Around the Bend players bring you some old timey Christmas shows.While the weather outside has yet to be frightful (although 62 degrees in December is kind of scary), inside Bend's local theaters the holiday season is underway and definitely delightful. Area theaters and production companies have pulled out all the stops to ensure that Bendites have the most Holly Jolly Christmas play lineup yet. While Bend Theatre for Young People, Innovations Theater Works and one of the Tower Theatre productions have already wrapped (see sidebar), there's still plenty more to see. So even if it's 75 degrees outside next week and Bachelor reopens its Frisbee golf course, you can still get into the festive seasonal spirit thanks to Bend's diligent theater stewards. 

Around The Bend Players present Gunsmoke; A Christmas Story, The Plot to Overthrow Christmas and My Friend Irma; Christmas

Bend's old-time radio recreation geniuses put on not one, not two but three special holiday presentations this year for your viewing pleasure. The first, Gunsmoke; A Christmas Story is Around The Bend Player's take on the classic old-time radio and television western drama. The story starts off with US Marshall Matt Dillon returning to Dodge City on Christmas Eve after transporting a prisoner when his horse breaks a leg. He meets a stranger with a secret who helps him treasure what he has at home. The Plot to Overthrow Christmas is from the Columbia Workshop Series and was originally written, produced and directed by Norman Corwin and tells the story of Haman, a character from the book of Esther in the Old Testament, who was an advisor to the king and plotted to destroy all Jews, but is unsuccessful. Finally, My Friend Irma; Christmas was originally broadcast in 1950 and revolves around Irma's Christmas Eve Party. The changing casts for the three performances includes Don DeLach, Bob Woodward, Lisa Fetrow, Brad Thompson, Monterery Morrisey, Jim Hammond, Mike Ficher, Julie Coburn, Jessica Adler, Barb Largent and Dave Christi. Sound effects for all three productions are done by Dave Christi and Jake Thompson and Jessica Adler is the violinist for all three productions. A definite old-timey action-filled evening. For more info go to 7pm. $5 suggested donation. Old Stone Church, 157 NW Franklin Ave.

Cascades Theatrical Company presents Some Assembly Required

The CTC is bringing in the holiday season with Eugene Stickland's lighthearted but moving portrayal of a dysfunctional family of grown children and aging adults. The play, which shows how the holiday season can actually be unpleasant for some, premiered in 1994 and still remains very popular today. The cast is made up of Michael Coffman, Jenn Copsey, Jordan Parsons, Janis Sharpe and Don Tompos. Jared Rasic also makes his debut as co-director with Lana Shane. Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2 pm. Additional matinees December 13 and 20 at 2pm. $20/adults, $15/seniors (60 and over), $10/students. 148 NW Greenwood Ave, 389-0803.

Tower Theatre & Bend Experimental Theatre present A Christmas Carol

While this classic play is set to run from December 18-22, BEAT has a special surprise up its sleeve for December 18 - an all-youth cast, one night only. After that, the community cast will perform the remaining six shows, directed by Mary Kirkpatrick and adapted by Howard Schor and Bradley Thompson. While everyone knows the timeless holiday tale about Ebenezer Scrooge, his downtrodden clerk Bob Cratchit and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, not everyone knows that BEAT's goal is to allow at least 400 people or 100 financially challenged families to see one of the seven performances free of charge. They have also received grants allowing over 750 "in need" students to see the play for just $1. To donate, go to 7pm December 18-19; 2pm & 7pm December 20-21; 7pm December 22. $16/adults, $10/students for December 18 performance, $25/adults, $12/students all other performances. Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St, 317-0700 or

2nd Street Theatre presents Over The River and Through The Woods

For anyone who's ever thought that their grandparents were a teensy bit overbearing, after seeing this play, you'll probably feel differently. Joe DiPietro's comedic and touching portrait of the ultimate Italian family stars Susan Benson, Jenny Boyd, Rick Jenklins, Caleb Neet, Timothy Plflum and Maralyn Thoma and is directed by Susan Benson and Douglas Hildebrand (assisted by Sandy Klein). You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll leave wanting to call your family, and then you'll definitely want to eat lasagna. 8pm Wednesdays-Saturdays and 3pm Sundays through December 20. $25/adults, $20-22/seniors and students. 2nd Street Theatre, 220 NE Lafayette Ave, 312-9626.

This weekend and beyond...

click to enlarge Hooray! It's a Tuna Christmas
  • Hooray! It's a Tuna Christmas
Hooray! It's a Tuna ChristmasA Tuna Christmas
Jeffrey Jason Gilpin and Alan King played all 22 characters in this play set in Tuna, the third smallest town in Texas, for a Christmas comedy directed by Philip Cuomo. December 5-7 at Tower Theatre.

Too Wrapped Up for Christmas
Bend Theatre for Young People debuted its Christmas comedy about the true reason for the holiday season. December 5 and 6 at the First Presbyterian Church in Bend.

Santaland Diaries
Innovations Theater Works' Play Reading Series brought David Sedaris' hilarious account of working as an elf at Macy's to life with actor Derek Sitter, directed by Brad Hills. December 9 at the First Baptist Church in downtown Bend.


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