Celebrating the opening weekend of Sierra Madre Playhouse’s holiday production of A Little House Christmas based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series of books, we are holding a crafty, old fashioned afternoon of activities and entertainment. On the theme of “Slow Down and Enjoy the Holidays”, we are offering family-friendly, “un-plugged” crafts and sweets-making and some old-timey and unique entertainment.
“Snap” is for gingerbread – we will have “Little House” shaped cookies for you to decorate with icing and, if you like, you can further embellish your creations down the block at the Goody Bags candy store where you can purchase (for 5 dollars) a special collection of candies just right to bedazzle your cookies. The store will have a table set up where you can finish up your edible creations. This happens between 3 and 4 pm. At another table at the Playhouse we will have some “Little House” fabrics that you can hand-sew into sachets or tree ornaments. Both of these “crafty” activities take place between 3 – 4 pm.
“Pose” – At 4 pm we invite everyone – adults, families, kids – to come into the theater where the students of AKT – Alison Kalmus Theater will help you come up on stage to strike a “Pose” as people used to do in home entertainments around the time Sierra Madre was founded (1881) in “Tableaux Vivants” – or living statues. You can be part of the act or just watch this old fashioned entertainment. This activity happens from 4:00 – 4:30 pm.
“Whistle” – at 4:30 pm our special guest will be two-time World Champion Whistler, Carole Anne Kaufman, – the “Whistling Diva.” Carole will whistle some holiday tunes, answer questions about being a professional whistler, and give tips on how to become a better whistler. Sierra Madre had its own professional whistler back around World War I. Her name was Nina Coral Kellogg – the “California Canary.” Miss Kellogg wore Grecian robes in her act which involved both “artistic” whistling and posing in tableaus. Carole Anne Kaufman is keeping this beautiful art form alive with public performances and by producing the Masters of Musical Whistling International Competition, coming this fall to Los Angeles. You can hear her whistle and learn more at WhistlingDiva.com, and she is based right in our neighborhood – in Monrovia.
Snap.Whistle.Pose is a free event suitable for families, children, and adults of all ages. Decorative candies for cookie decorating are available for sale at Goody Bags candy store during the 3 – 4 pm hour on November 19th. All other materials are free, but we welcome contributions for cookie and crafting materials so we can continue to offer these family events. Snap.Whistle.Pose begins with crafts from 3 -4 pm followed by theater activities and a whistling performance from 4 -5 pm. The event concludes at 5 pm.
The Sierra Madre Playhouse is featuring ideas and activities that put the emphasis on spending time with family and friends in simple activities to enjoy a “Slow Holiday”. Two activities will be sponsored on this theme – one on November 4th at 6 pm at Vroman’s Bookstore in Hastings Ranch, and the Snap.Whistle.Pose event at the Sierra Madre Playhouse on Saturday, November 19th from 3 – 5 pm. In addition to this, SMP will be posting ideas for “Slow Holiday” fun on their Facebook page throughout November and December.
Performances of A Little House Christmas at the Sierra Madre Playhouse begin on Friday, November 18th at 8:00 pm, with a Saturday, November 19th performance at 8:00 pm, and a Sunday, November 20th matinee at 2:30 pm. It plays each weekend through December 23. The play, presented by arrangement with the copyright owner of the Little House Heritage Trust, is based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prarie series of books, was adapted for the stage by James DeVita and is directed by Alison Eliel Kalmus. The cast includes Laura – Isa Eisenberg/Sofia Naccarato, Mary – Katie Grace Hansen, Ma – Rachel McLaughlan, Pa – Rich Cassone, Mrs. Oleson – Valerie Gould, Nellie Oleson – Samantha Salamoff / Amy Stapenhorst, Mr. Edwards – Thomas Colby, Nick – Adam Simon Krist, Peter – Patrick Geringer / Evan Klein, and Uncle George – Barry Schwam. Musical Direction is by Ron Barnett and Choreography by Kelsey O’Keefe. The show is produced by John Sparks with Executive producers Christian Lebano and Estelle Campbell. The Sierra Madre Playhouse is located at 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024, Box Office (626) 355-4318, tickets available online at www.sierramadreplayhouse.org. There is ample free parking behind the theatre.
Carole Anne Kaufman is The Whistling Diva. Two-Time World Champion Musical Whistler, Carole has entertained around the world and is a recipient of the International Whistling Entertainer of the Year Award. The Whistling Diva has been blowing away audiences all over Southern California and beyond. From performing for audiences at Huell Howser’s Palm Springs Walk of Fame star dedication, to private and corporate events or performing on KLOS’ 95.5FM morning show, Carole is bringing the message of self-expression and whistling to people everywhere. In the summer 2015 Carole produced the Masters of Musical Whistling World Championship Concert and Competition in Pasadena, California. Contestants came from all over the U.S. and Japan vied for the title of Master of Musical Whistling. The event scored the cover of the Pasadena Weekly, interviews at KCRW and KNX, to name a few. Summer 2017, the Masters of Musical Whistling will be back. WhistlingDiva.com and MastersOfWhistling.com.
AKT- Alison Kalmus Theater offers Youth Acting and Musical Theater Workshops onstage at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. The Fundamentals of Acting and the Magic of Musical Theater are the classes being offered in the fall/winter session. The Director of AKT is Alison Kalmus. With over 25 years of film/ theater performance experience and multi-subject academic teaching, Ms. Kalmus has also been a Casting and Voice-Over Director for NASA’s Space Place in a Snap and NOAA’s Scijinx educational videos, Walt Disney Co. Independent Shakespeare Co. Ms. Kalmus is a resource acting coach for L.A County High School of the Arts. In association with Pasadena Polytechnic School, she developed curricula, taught, trained and supervised teachers for Noteworthy Music & Learning Systems in public and private schools throughout Los Angeles County. An award-winning director of theater, musicals and opera nationally and internationally, she was recently nominated for NAACP 2015 “Best Musical Theater Direction” for SMP’s The Gondoliers. Ms Kalmus developed Shakespeare in the Park programs (2005 – 2009) in association with Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation. She currently teaches Speech and Debate for nationally designated “Top Five in Excellence” (2011-2015) Kudos College of Learning.
The Goody Bags candy and gift shop is brand new in town as of August 11th. They have candy from the 1950’s to the 90’s, children’s and adult gifts with gift wrap included, and custom goody bags for parties. They are at 49 W Sierra Madre Blvd. Sierra Madre, CA 91024. (626) 325-3854 http://thegoodybags.org/