A Celtic Christmas
Reel in the holidays with 'A Celtic Christmas' at NOVA
• Jaci Webb
• Dec 8, 2017
It's a rare thing — coming
up with an original Christmas show, let alone two.
has scripted his second holiday show with the help of pianist Teri
Hammerquist. Following the success he had with his "Christmas Time's
A Coming," featuring bluegrass music in 2015, he and Hammerquist
started working on "A Celtic Christmas" a year ago. It opens at 7:30
p.m. on Dec. 8 and runs through Dec. 23 at NOVA Center for the
Zediker, a well-known Billings composer,
producer and vocalist, has brought his band, Slainte, into the show,
positioning them right up front on stage to showcase their authentic
sound. They sing and play Celtic instruments including an autoharp,
a concertina accordion and a bodrahn, which is an Irish drum. The
band usually jams Friday night at Pug Mahon's, so you could say
they've been rehearsing this show for a decade or more.
Christmas" is set in an Irish pub on the Isle of Man.
dark and stormy night on Christmas Eve and people have come to seek
shelter," Zediker said. "We will play a lot of traditional Celtic
Featured in the show are local youths from
the Dannsairean Dancers group, who will perform Irish jigs, and area
vocalists portraying carolers. During rehearsal last week, the
dancers were high kicking so fast their legs were a blur.
The cast is diverse, ranging in age from 7 to 70, Hammerquist
"We have very seasoned people, like Steve Zediker, Gary
Treglown and Shawn Bettise, and we have one woman who is performing
in her first show, Hammerquist said.
Bettise plays the
bartender and serves as the emcee, ushering people in and out of the
Beyond Celtic songs, the production
explains the history of traditions of Ireland, Scotland and Wales,
and features poetry.
There are singalongs and stories, both poignant and
preposterous. Hammerquist described the show as fun and reflective.
"You can expect some chuckles and some poignant moments. Some of
us are more reflective this time of year, thinking about loved ones
we've lost," Hammerquist said. "But mostly, it's just fun."
Design by Melanie Fabrizius
THE CAST (in order of appearance)
Elliana “Ellie” Manske
Angus Benjamin Meyer
Rebekah Rae, Kennedy Miller, Kyle Poling, Jessica Moore. Hannah
Matthias Chapman, Jackson Chapman, Hannah Ford, Caleb Ford, Beatrice
Sydney Paden, Liam McCaughey, Samantha McCaughey, Aija
Small, Ali Krause and
readings, and poems compiled and edited by Steve Zediker and Teri
With additional dialogue by Steve Zediker
*Isle of Man is one of the British Isles, located in the Irish Sea
off the northwest coast of England. The Isle is roughly equidistant
between England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
Director: Steve Zediker
Assistant Director/Musical Director: Teri
Costumer: Gary Treglown
Technical Director: Dan
Light Board Operators: Cy Ellerd, Joan Eller & Wayne
Bronte Wittpenn photographer, Billings Gazette