Jeff Casey, director of Hammond’s Towle Theatre’s “A Fabulous '50s Christmas,” has an idea why his annual holiday musical showcase has been a hit with area audiences for a decade and a half.
“What I really think the key to a successful 15-year-run is is how we are able to tap into the individual and unique talents of each cast member each year," he said. "Even though it’s the same concept and the same general feel, it really is a brand new show each year.”
Kicking off Friday and running through Dec. 17, "Fabulous" takes its audiences back to the late '50s and early '60s, paying tribute in song and skit to the small screen Christmas specials hosted by the likes of Andy Williams and Perry Como.
"Fabulous" was created by Casey, who is also Towle's managing director, and Towle director of administration Kevin Bellamy, who brought their revue to the stage for the first time in 2002. Elizabeth Tuazon has served as the "Fabulous" musical director for the last dozen years.
It didn't take long for "Fabulous" to catch on with area theatergoers. Past seasons have seen entire runs of the show performed to a capacity audience. At press time, tickets for the Saturday and Dec. 10 shows are sold out.
While staying true to the premise of the original show - all songs performed in the show were written before 1959, and the commercials staged between songs all go back to that era as well - Casey sees the show evolving with each run.
“I think we’ve gotten more savvy about what works, and a greater song selection and evaluating the audience’s reaction each year,” he said. "And people let us know if we’ve gone too far."
This year's "Fantastic" cast of singers and performers is composed of Kelly Bourget, Todd Aulwurm, Nikki Krzebiot, Tess Galbiati, Jeff Wright and Jenn Roney.
“They bring a lot of energy and a lot of skill and talent," Casey said.
Towle Theater will kick off its 2018 season with the comedy “Pageant Play,” scheduled to open Feb. 23.