For the fifth year in a row, Bette MacDonald, Maynard Morrison, and their musical partner, Ralph Dillon are hitting the road for a two week tour of the 2011 edition of their holiday show, ‘Tis the Season!.
The sketch comedy and song show begins its tour with two Cape Breton shows, on Friday, December 2, in Mabou’s Strathspey Place, and Saturday, December 3, Port Hawkesbury’s SAERC Auditorium (which is sold out already), before finishing at the Savoy in Glace Bay for two back to back shows on Friday, December 16, and Saturday, December 17.
Between the two sets of Cape Breton shows, there are eleven performances all over mainland Nova Scotia.
Morrison says this show is filled with some new material (written by MacDonald) and some favorite things from past shows. The iconic Mary Morrison, besides doing one of her brilliantly acerbic monologues, does a turn as the Virgin Mary, while other popular characters Wayne Tomko, Martin MacKinnon, and “Cujo” make up the Three Wise Men. There’s also a visit with “Dad’s Family”, a set of characters created specifically for the holiday show.
And along with seasonal standards made famous by Elvis, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat “King” Cole, the show includes two tunes written by MacDonald, “Christmas Snow”, about the innocence of youth at Christmas time, and “Song For Maynard”, a tune about being parted from the one you love at Christmas.
Morrison says the nostalgic tone of the songs is reflected in the comedy as well.
“The characters talk about the things we talk about at Christmas,” he says. “Like Martin talking about his first vegetarian Christmas when he brought a live turkey home with the intention of cooking it. He called it ‘Claude’ because that’s what it did to him when he tried to put the seatbelt on it. It’s a precious monologue that Bette wrote: the first time I performed it I almost started to laugh myself it was so funny.”
Morrison says the trio enjoys doing the show, not only because of the fun of doing a holiday show, but because “it’s the only show that’s really ours; just the three of us touring around in a little van”.
Morrison says there is “a reason to be excited in every place we perform”.
Like in Musquodoboit where the tour stops for two shows at the Bicentennial Theatre on Sunday, December 4.
“Between the shows, we have a fabulous homemade Christmas dinner complete with desserts cooked by volunteers that we have with the manager and the crew. We can’t wait to get to Musquodoboit.”
But after two weeks on the road, Morrison says, “It’s fun coming to the Savoy…it feels like coming home.”