Did you catch "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" this summer in Merrillville?
For those who packed the beautiful Reinhart Auditorium to see the one of the performances, I have good news: A majority of that cast and people who produced the show are back this holiday season for another beloved production, "Scrooge the Musical."
One of the highlights of "Joseph" was the performance of Jared Riddle as Pharaoh, who is played in the style of Elvis. His scenes blew away the audience (and cast).
Jared, who has turned in memorable performances on the Reinhart stage in shows like "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Oliver!" is making his "Scrooge" debut as The Ghost of Christmas Present.
Jared also performed snippets of his role as Pharaoh and was interviewed afterward when "Joseph" was featured on the popular "Around Town" segment on WGN Morning News.
"Jared is worth the price of admission," said show director Mike Reinhart, who is also playing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. "The audience is sure to fall in love with his bigger-than-life performance."
Mike Reinhart's wife, Melinda, the narrator in "Joseph," is returning to Scrooge as Mrs. Cratchit, as is their son, Lucas, who plays young Scrooge.
You may recognize some of the Wives and Brothers (including yours truly) from "Joseph" who are also back for "Scrooge." One of the Brothers, Adam Clough, program director at the Lake Station Boys & Girls Club, will take over the role of Pharaoh for the school performances Dec. 2.
This marks the 19th year since its debut in 1982 that "Scrooge" will be performed at Reinhart Auditorium. It also marks the 11th straight year for the M&M Productions and Ross Music Theatre holiday production. This will be my 12th year doing the show, all except one of them as Scrooge's nephew.
"Scrooge the Musical" was Jerauld Reinhart's (Mike's dad) favorite Christmas musical. When it became available in 1982, he became the first in the Region to do it.
Since then the production has grown into a giant undertaking that includes moving lights, scenic projections, giant sets, cordless mics on all the actors, and special effects. While the show has had over 100 performances, there are some cast members that have been in every single performance.
Mike and Melinda Reinhart have done their roles for well over 10 years. Some people have had a variety of parts since 1999 including Garry St. Martin, who has played Tom Jenkins, Jacob Marley, Mr. Fezziweg and Bob Cratchit.
"But there is something new every year," Mike Reinhart said.
"Scrooge the Musical" runs Nov. 26, Dec. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students, and $8 for those younger than 12. Group rates are available.
Reinhart Auditorium is located at Merrillville High School, 276 E. 68th Place. Tickets are available at the door or at m-mproductions.com.
You can also call or email me. My info is at the top of this blog post. Merry Christmas!