Truman Capote (1924-1984) penned “A Christmas Memory” in 1956. The short story was originally published in Mademoiselle Magazine in December that year. For the holidays this year Sierra Madre Playhouse offers a musical based on this tender and touching tale. With book by Duane Poole, music by Carol Hall, musical direction by Emily Cohn, and directed and choreographed by Alison Eliel Kalmus “A Christmas Memory” opens 8 p.m. Friday, November 27, 2015.
“A Christmas Memory” is a musical memoir of a young boy’s life during the Great Depression in rural Alabama. Raised in a house full of older relatives, Buddy forms a best friendship with Sook. Somewhat awkward socially, both are completely comfortable in each other’s company. Sook’s love helps her young cousin endure an occasionally difficult childhood. Buddy and Sook make whiskey-laden holiday fruitcakes and fly kites during what may be their last holiday season together.
The cast includes (in alphabetic order) Ian Branch, Jeff Scot Carey, Charlo Crossley, Lucy Ferrante, Patrick Geringer, Jean Kauffman, Diane Kelber, Kevin Michael Moran, Samantha Salamoff and Christopher Showerman.
Capote was the creator of classic American stories ranging from romantic fantasy (“Breakfast at Tiffany’s”) to true crime (“In Cold Blood”) to classic film comedy (“Beat the Devil,” starring Humphrey Bogart). Capote won the Emmy ® Award for a 1967 television adaptation of “A Christmas Memory” which starred Patty Duke as Sook.
Poole also wrote the book for “Dorian,” a musical version of “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Hall also wrote lyrics for “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” and “A…My Name Is Alice.” Two-time Tony® nominee and composer Grossman wrote the musical scores for “Minnie’s Boys,” “Paper Moon” and “Snoopy! The Musical.”
The musical version of “A Christmas Memory” debuted in 2010. The Sierra Madre Playhouse production marks its local premiere.
“A Christmas Memory” opens 8 p.m. Friday, November 27 and performs through December 27. Visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org for dates and show times. Admission is $34.50, $32 for seniors (65+) and $25 youths (to age 21). Call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.
Sierra Madre Playhouse is located 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. in Sierra Madre. There is ample free parking behind the Playhouse.