Bringing Christmas to life in Reserve

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 1, 2010

By David Vitrano


RESERVE – If the proliferation of Christmas lights throughout the region in the past week wasn’t enough to signal that the holiday season is in full effect, this weekend St. John Theatre will really kick things into high gear as the venue presents “The Living Christmas Tree.”

This year, the theater has partnered with St. James Community Theatre to present the local holiday classic, which has delighted audiences in St. James Parish for the past decade.

The show features about 30 traditional Christmas songs performed by a wide range of local talents from the very young to more seasoned performers.

Said St. James Community Theatre President John Leblanc, “It gives us a chance for our community to get together for the holiday.”

As the St. James organization does not have a home theater of its own, it usually uses the auditorium at Lutcher High School for the holiday performance, but that venue was unavailable this year. A well-timed call from St. John Theatre’s Sterling Snowdy brought the production to Reserve.

According to first-time Director Colby Chabaud, the venue change has in many ways been a blessing to the production.

“It’s actually nice coming to a place that works,” he said.

He explained that at Lutcher’s auditorium, they were often faced with lighting problems and sub-par acoustics.

The production opens Friday with a 7:30 p.m. show. It continues through the weekend with a 7:30 p.m. show on Saturday and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors age 60 and above and $6 for children 6 and under.

The show will feature performances by students from St. Peter Chanel, a children’s and an adult choir and a solo from St. John’s latest budding theater talent, Dianna Duffy, among others. And, as usual, the highlight of the performance will be the unveiling of the living Christmas tree.

“The first time you see it, it really has that ‘wow’ factor,” said Chabaud.

Bringing together a production with such disparate elements certainly presents some unique challenges, but Leblanc was confident all the pieces would fall into place.

“In the end, when the spotlight comes on, something magic happens,” he said.

St. John Theatre is located at 115 W. Fourth St. in Reserve. For more information, call 985-536-6630.