By Pam Powell
Main Street Theater
Belton’s favorite grandmother, Norma Nelson, will grace the stage at Main Street Theater in the Missouri premiere of A Neighborhood Noel by Greg Beastrom. Norma performed on the historic stage in 1949 with her Belton High School class.
She will appear in the Fitzsimmons family as the grandmother to Larry and Jolene Fitzsimmons, played by local artists, Alan Palmer and Jaeden Wilkes. Greg Beastrom wrote this charming Christmas story for his theater company, The First Light Players in California. He has given MST special rights to perform the play for the first time in Missouri.
This story occurs in a neighborhood cul-de-sac of 6 houses. The set designers and set builders worked for weeks to create the houses and build them on stage. Each house is designed to reflect the personalities of each family living therein.
As is the case with many families, in the rush to get all holiday things accomplished by Christmas, these families seem to have lost the Christmas spirit. When the neighborhood children create the Nativity play for a school project, all the neighbors put down their burdens and see the greater good for all.
The cast has 31 actors from the age of 5 to 88 years old. Many are performing in their first play. Many are performing after many years of being away from the theater.
Directed by Pam Powell with stage managers Lori Lewis and Crystal Beal, the cast includes the following artists from the greater Belton/Raymore area: Joseph Armstrong, Morgan Bassett, Laurie Bassett-Edmonds, Christopher Beal, Angela Bell, Ron Branan, Richard Campbell, Ashley Davis, Patricia Friend, Zowie Friend, Brayden Hohenfeldt, Jeremy Hopkins, Kayla Hopkins, Megan Huber, Shane Johnson, Sheila Johnson, Jeffrey Jones, Bevan Lewis, Killian Lewis, Morgan Lewis, Ayla McCann, Esco McCann, Stacy McCann, Karen McLaughlin, Logan Myland, Norma Nelson, Layton O’Shia, Alan Palmer, Brittney Patridge, Barbara Robertson and Jaeden Wilkes.
The play opens at the historic stage at Main Street Theater, 510 Main Street, Belton, behind the Museum.
Entry to the theater is on the side of the building next to City Hall. Reservations are strongly suggested due to the limited seating in the theater. Please call 816-406-9422 or visit their webpage for more information www.mainstreettheaterbelton.com
Opening night is tonight. Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm. The play runs through Sunday, Dec. 16.