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Review: YULETIDE VII “Joy to the World”

By Jeanette Coggin Boehme

Orange Community Players exhibited their fighting spirit recently and showed some lucky Orange citizens what the spirit of Christmas is all about. Nineteen performers created Christmas music magic, putting on dazzling display the amazing singing talent that resides in Orange. This was the seventh annual Christmas show that OCP has put on for Orange and it did not disappoint.

From the gospel sounding “Oh Happy Day” to the emotional “Sweet Little Jesus Boy”, the performers held the audience spellbound and filling with Christmas spirits. The musical selections ranged from toe-tapping, hand-clapping numbers to songs that moved the audience spiritually.

The Players have had to suffer the loss of their building and, consequently, all of this season’s shows. This has created financial hardships for the Playhouse and this loss of their shows has plunged them into a morass of disappointment. Proving that they are not going to be overwhelmed by these events, the Players showed a cohesiveness and a ‘can-do and will-do’ attitude, with determination to overcome.

The show was held in the lovely chapel of the First United Methodist Church and it was the perfect place to hear the beautiful songs of Christmas. The attendees were reminded that when OCP first began, the performances were held in various churches and school auditoriums. Obtaining their own building over the years, they have come a long way only to see Hurricane Harvey take it away.

Doug Rogers, Music Director of the First United Methodist Church, gave a rendition of “Angels We Have Heard On High” that was a showstopper. A special ‘thank you’ goes to the church for offering the chapel to OCP as a venue. Every performer and musician deserves a shout-out! The soaring group performances and the lilting solos had the audience leaving with smiles on their faces and sure to dream of sugar plums.

In this time of hardship for OCP, as well as the whole city of Orange, it is good to dwell on what we have left, not so much on what we have lost. The Players need financial support and encouragement to continue to act as a beacon to the live performing arts for Orange. The arts are what gives us soul, empathy, and imagination to improve our world and lives. Put the OCP Christmas Show next year on your ‘must see’ 2018 calendar!