An inspirational story in this year's show is Hanover Central High School sophomore Ella Swinney, who, for the second consecutive year, plays Isabel and sings one of the show's standout songs, "Happiness."

Ella almost didn't return, as she's been through a lot -- her little sister was diagnosed with leukemia over the summer and is almost finished with "a major round of chemotherapy."

This year's production probably has a little more meaning for Ella.

Every year this show, more than any others I've been a part of, features many cast members from the same family. There are mothers/daughters, fathers/sons, brothers/sisters.

Every Bob Cratchit has had at least one time his own son portray Tiny Tim. This year is no different.

Hobart's Bill Hebert once again plays Tom Jenkins, the man who leads us all in "Thank You Very Much" while dancing on a coffin.

A few years ago Bill decided to take a break from the show. However, when his replacement had to back out at the last minute, Bill jumped back in and saved us. Thank you very much!

It's been a tradition that began with the nephew before me to give his character's friend at the Minister's Cat party scene a different Dickensian name every night.

This friend, along with most of the party guests, doesn't know what's coming. See? Now you can come to the show every night and collect all the names!

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