It's a Christmas Story, but Not Exactly the One You're Used To

Article excerpt

Byline: TAMARA McCLARAN

Christmas Belles is not a traditional holiday season story, but the wacky comedy showing through Saturday, Dec. 13, at Players by the Sea in Jacksonville Beach is a fun and funny play that's filled with laughs from start to finish. Set in the small town of Fayro, Texas, the story by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten revolves around the Tabernacle of the Lamb Church's annual Christmas pageant.

A hot-flash-suffering Honey Raye Futrelle has recently returned to Fayro and been named the pageant's new director, taking away control from Miss Geneva Musgrove, who has been in charge for 27 years. Honey Raye is determined to bring change to the traditional pageant fare by adding live sheep, an Elvis impersonator and a television personality to the show.

It's mayhem as most of the pageant's cast comes down with food poisoning, the crew is dealing with ill-tempered sheep and Miss Musgrove is not going to give up without a fight. Honey Raye turns to her sisters hoping for support, but Frankie is overdue with her second set of twins and the recently jilted and bitter Twink is in jail for burning down half the town.

Players by the Sea Executive Director Joseph Schwarz assembled a talented cast for this wacky show.

Brooks Anne Hayes demonstrates great comic delivery as Honey Raye Futrelle and Gayle Featheringill is very funny as the vengeful Geneva Musgrove. Amy Allen Farmer gives a solid performance as Twink, who has been released from jail to work behind the scenes on the show for community service. Lee Hamby is hilarious and endearing as the very pregnant Frankie.

Paul Rowe gives a great performance as Frankie's husband and the ailing Santa, Dub Dubberley. Dana Branch is funny and sweet as daughter Gina Joe. …