'I'll Be Home for Christmas' opens Dec. 6 at The Legion Theatre
by Marie Nesmith
Nov 30, 2013 | 1293 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With World War II looming, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” highlights a 1940s family preparing for the holidays. Describing its story as “uplifting,” Stacey Bern is excited to bring the musical to the Cartersville stage.

“I felt like there’s so many crazy things going on in our world — things close to home as well as things across our world. I felt that we needed something uplifting,” said Bern, director of The Pumphouse Players’ production. “So despite everything going on in the world, there’s still hope and we still have things to hope in and believe in. That’s the feeling that I want people to have at Christmas.

“... The story is about the West family. It starts when they’re getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving in 1941. It spans over the next several days leading up to Dec. 7 of 1941, which as we all know was the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed. It kind of just goes through the various emotions and things that are going on in the world, day-to-day struggles of life back then. One of the main characters, Norma, her husband’s actually an airline mechanic and is volunteering to work on the planes in the military. Although he’s officially not enlisted, he still works on the military base. So all of that kind of encompasses the feeling of she’s missing her husband because she’s not there and she’s got a young child. There’s [also] a little bit of humor, a little bit of romance, because Angie the other daughter of the patriarch of the family ... [has] a crush on the mailman. So it’s a lot of fun. It takes you back to that good time feeling of the 1940s.”

To be held at The Legion Theatre, 114 W. Main St. in Cartersville, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” will be presented Dec. 6, 7, 13 and 14 at 8 p.m. Set primarily in the main characters’ residence, the musical also will showcase the sounds of the 1940s as swing, ballads and big band songs will be presented along with reenactments of radio broadcasts from that time period.

The cast will consist of Chris Bern, John Katrek, Austin Engle, Sidney Roberts, Marilyn Klingbeil, Lynn Fowler, John Pennick, Andrew Bearden, Derrick Chapman, Duane Ellis, JoAnne Calsetta, Cameron Pankey, Mike Wasson, Rylee Romero, Bob Whaley, Kailey Klingbeil, Jarra Chatmon, Tim Whalen, Amber Longaire, Noah Ragus, Rachel Engle, Sharon Pankey, Al Calsetta and Alaina Anderson.

“We have received a very positive response for the show,” said PHP President Meghann Humphreys, referring toDec. 8’s performance already being sold out. “I think people are looking for a family-friendly outing that has the Christmas spirit in it and that’s exactly what they’re going to find with ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas.’

“It takes place in 1941 and for those of us who are familiar with history, we know about a pretty big event that happened in December of that year. To honor the memory of those who have fallen and to honor those who have served our country so valiantly, we are offering a $2 discount [for veterans] on tickets Dec. 7 — that’s the 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. ... Also during the run of ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas,’ we are collecting canned goods for local food pantries and we are collecting toys for Toys for Tots,” she said, adding donations will be accepted in The Legion Theatre’s lobby.

Tickets for “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” are $14 for general admission, and $10 pre-paid groups of 10 or more people and Pumphouse Players members. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.pumphouseplayers.com or call 770-387-2610.