On Stage: 'Honky Tonk Angels' Holiday Spectacular!' at USCB Dec. 19-22

info@islandpacket.comDecember 11, 2013 

Elaine Lake, Penney Smith, Velma Polk and Jan Spencer star in "Honky Tonk Angels' Holiday Spectacular!," which opens Dec. 19 at University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts in Beaufort.

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Director: Bonnie Hargrove; music director Art Perry; and choreographer Valerie Hobbs

Lead actors: Elaine Lake, Penney Smith, Velma Polk and Jan Spencer

The plot: The wild women of last season's "Honky Tonk Angels" will reunite on stage at University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts for their "Holiday Spectacular!" from Dec. 19 to 22. Returning to the scene of last year's hilarity are Sue Ellen, Darlene, and Angel-la. They plan a reunion at the Hillbilly Heaven Club in Nashville for a Christmas show which, as you can guess, has many unplanned twists and turns in this comic escapade. They also have a new friend who adds to the fun, Charilee, a gospel-singing soul sister and psychic manicurist.

The story behind the show: The Honky Tonk Angels (Penney, Velma and Elaine and now Jan) have beautiful harmonies that are impressive, considering they just started singing together last year. The characters they play suit them well, making the show fun from start to finish. The songs range from deeply touching (Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colors") to spirited "The Mississippi Squirrel Revival." In fact, there will be a very special visit from Gomer, the cast's pet squirrel.

Director's take: "This revue features a lively mix of countrified musical styles," according to Hargrove, who said the show is "guaranteed to get you into the spirit of the season." The show is full of musical medleys, classic Christmas songs and rock and country tunes with a holiday twist: James Brown, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Freddy Fender and the Beach Boys are just some of the artists represented in the lively, toe-tapping musical revue. "We chose the weekend before Christmas for the performance because it is perfect for all ages to sit back and enjoy a wonderful show filled with holiday blessings," Hargrove said.

Behind the scenes: "There are many funny stories, but the Elvis, or rather in this show "the three Elvii" are the best," Hargrove said. "The wacky performers do a wonderful 'dream' rendition of Elvis' hits: 'Blue Christmas,' 'Hunk of Burnin' Love' and 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town,' during Angela's food-induced hallucination. The costumes, moves and the actors great sense of comedic timing will make this part of the Christmas spectacular a scene to remember."

Run dates: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19, 20, 21; 3 p.m. Dec. 22

Ticket prices: $20-$25; $18-$20 for seniors; $10-$15 for students

Details: www.uscbcenterforthearts.com, 843-521-4145

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