More so that any other community theater, Ovation embraces the idea of going beyond theatrical productions. With concerts and comedy, the 19th Street venue hosts various forms of entertainment. This holiday season is no exception with “Rock’n Holiday,” opening Friday.
Written and conceived by Tim Adamson, this variety show-style production was inspired by "Million Dollar Quartet," the musical about an impromptu jam session involving Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash. After that show last year, Ovation has put on other musical experiments inspired by the premise featuring many of the same performers.
As this holiday show developed, with nods to television events such as Ed Sullivan’s Christmas specials and Johnny Cash Christmas specials, it became clear it was about "bringing great music and performers to the stage in memorable acts," said Hal Friedman, Ovation's artistic director.
Friedman wrote in an email, "We took the whole thing one step further, instead of just that cast, we brought in more artists to sing other amazing songs. Therefore the show had evolved beyond the original. ... It’s bigger and even more of a celebration of what rock ‘n' roll is."
The show features Christmas songs galore done in a classic rock ‘n' roll/rockabilly style including "White Christmas," "Jingle Bells" and "Baby it’s Cold Outside," done with a twist, Friedman said.
"There are a lot of great songs. 'White Christmas' is great. 'Jingle Bells' will make you want to get up and dance. And 'Run Run Rudolph' will have audiences cheering."
Dom Demay, Joey Boone and Jeff Ardray, all of whom performed in "Million Dollar Quartet," are joined by Jacqueline Salazar, Caley Mayhall, Jacob Chivington, Markelle Taylor and Jordan Fulmer. The performers will be accompanied by a seven-piece band, complete with horn section, featuring Jeff Ingle, John Barker, Drake Morrison, Omar Murrillo, Abigail Wilson and Anthony Stone.
In addition to performing, Mayhall served as musical director and Friedman said she's made everyone sound fantastic.
"Sharp harmonies. And just a great rock 'n' roll sound. Between Tim, Jeff Ingle, who leads the band, and Caley, they have developed a show filled with memorable songs and moments."
"Rock'n Holiday" is a great way for families to spend time together this season, Friedman said.
"Come ready to smile, tap your toes, and rock ‘n' roll."