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Averitt STARS present variety show at Emma Kelly Theater Dec. 14-16

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Posted: December 8, 2007 12:32 p.m.
Updated: December 23, 2007 5:00 a.m.
     Another burgeoning Statesboro holiday tradition is upon us this upcoming weekend as the Averitt Center for the Arts puts on Emma’s Holiday Follies in the Emma Kelly Theater Dec. 14 - 16. Sponsored by the Averitt STARS, this Vaudeville-style variety show promises to be even more exciting and festive than last year.
        Lisa Muldrew, director of the show and choral director at Statesboro High, said there will be a pleasantly eclectic mix of acts at the show.
    “It’s going to feature several different dances with a variety of styles. We also have a lot of music, with people from Georgia Southern that have volunteered their time for the community,” said Muldrew. “Dr. Braz will be playing [piano] at every show. Dr. Arikka Gregory, who is the new Opera professor — she is just fantastic — she is going to be singing.”
    Aside from the university professors, everyone else who is participating is from the Statesboro and Bulloch County area.
    “All the rest of the acts are local acts,” said Muldrew. “We have everything ranging from small children in elementary school to students from both Statesboro and Southeast Bulloch High. We have a lot of drama skits this year. And, of course, we will continue with the ever popular audience sing-a-long.”
    Muldrew played it close to the vest when she was pressed for more specific information about the order of events.
    “I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag too much because I want people to anticipate what’s coming next — I just want people to be surprised,” said Muldrew.
    She did reveal that the Grinch will be up to his usual bag of mean tricks. Also, Santa Claus will return for a repeat performance for both the young and the young at heart. Audience members are encouraged to bring their camera as Santa will be available for photographs following each performance.
    The show is really a prime example of a joint community effort. Muldrew’s assistant director is Tiffany Todd, a social studies teacher at SEB, and her choreographer is Helen Redding, from the Statesboro Youth Ballet and Helen Redding School of Dance. Todd Deal, professor of chemistry at GSU, will be the master of ceremonies. And the worship leaders at Statesboro New Covenant Church — Todd Williford, Jena Harris and Toby Harris — will lead the family-style sing-a-long.
    Also participating in the extravaganza is Tim Chapman, director of the Averitt Center, who will be appearing on stage with his niece, Jessica. Last but certainly not least, the Kelly family, who sponsors the show in Miss Emma’s name, will perform in the show as well.
    “The show is designed to allow the entire community to enjoy the holidays together through drama, music and dance,” said Chapman.
    Since they will only be performing on Sunday, those patrons wishing to hear the Statesboro Youth Chorale will need tickets for Sunday’s matinee at 2 p.m. All other performers will appear on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m., in addition to the matinee. Friday night is a season event, as well as opening night, and tickets are for reserved seating. Both Saturday and Sunday will be general admission shows. All tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for youth. For tickets or additional information, call the Averitt Center at 212-ARTS(2787).
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