FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2015
Contact: Lisa Jordan
Touchstone’s Christmas City Follies Brings Holiday Spirit
Annual romp through merry music, holiday hilarity, and seasonal sweetness
Bethlehem, PA – Touchstone Theatre continues celebration of its 35th anniversary season with a new year of Christmas City Follies, the theatre’s annual production of a high-spirited, homegrown, vaudevillian variety show. Christmas City Follies XVI runs December 3-20, 2015 at Touchstone’s home on the south side at 321 East Fourth Street in Bethlehem.
With the first production dating back to 1995, many residents of the Lehigh Valley have come to count Christmas City Follies as a part of their holiday traditions, making the trip to Touchstone for an evening of original theatre described by locals as “stupid fun,” “a bottomless Christmas stocking of originality,” and “one of the best gifts I personally receive every year.”
This year’s Follies variety show promises to blend the show’s beloved traditions— like Touchstone founder Bill George’s cantankerous storytelling clown “The Old Guy”; Mary Wright’s sweet and silent “Little Red,” and the immortal musical number known as the Shopping Cart Ballet— with fresh new characters, comic scenes, personal stories from company members, and a slew of original and adapted holiday music.
“After last year with our fifteenth Follies, this year feels like a pivotal moment in the show’s life, where we have the chance to create the piece anew,” says Touchstone Artistic Director Jp Jordan. “Like an adolescent on the verge of adulthood, this is Follies celebrating her sweet sixteen.” Jordan has been with the annual production for eleven years; Follies XVI marks his eighth time as director.
Accompanying the production, Touchstone’s gallery will feature an exhibit entitled Seeing Surfaces and Beyond: Paintings and Drawings by George K. Shortess. Shortess describes the work as “an exhibition of works done in watercolors and ink over a number of years and in a variety of places, including imaginary worlds.” Shortess is an award-winning artist who has featured in exhibits in the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan; all proceeds from the sale of the gallery works will be donated to Touchstone.
Christmas City Follies XVI is supported locally by season sponsors First Generation, an integrated marketing communications company, and RCN. WDIY provides media sponsorship.
Christmas City Follies XVI plays December 3-20, 2015, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. On Saturday, December 19, there will be a special matinee show at 2pm in addition to the regularly scheduled 8pm show. Tickets are $25 for adults / $15 for students and seniors, with group rates available on request. On Thursdays, Touchstone offers a pay-what-you-will ticket option at the door, allowing walkup patrons to name their own ticket price. Advance tickets may be purchased at 610.867.1689 or online at www.touchstone.org
Celebrating thirty-five years, Touchstone Theatre produces and presents both original and classic productions, with a dedication to the renewal of theatre as a vital art form. Touchstone works to foster collaboration on a local and national level through educational and youth empowerment programs, using theatre as a community-building tool. Visit us on the web at www.touchstone.org