From left, Patty Price of York Township, Robina Santanietto of Manchester Township, Rachel Arthur of New Freedom, Joel Persing of Brogue, Jerry Yoder of
From left, Patty Price of York Township, Robina Santanietto of Manchester Township, Rachel Arthur of New Freedom, Joel Persing of Brogue, Jerry Yoder of Dover, and Brittne Giannone of Springettsbury Township sing a song from 'A Musical Christmas Card' at York Little Theatre. (DAILY RECORD / SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN)
This year's musical Christmas cards are coming to York Little Theatre from around the globe.

Act one of the show -- aptly titled, "A Musical Christmas Card" -- includes country songs from a Sun Belt card. A Holy Land card will follow with several solo songs, while a North Pole card wraps things up.

The show is exactly as advertised, said director Duff Finn. Large Christmas cards are set up on stage and open up to reveal the ensemble cast of singer/performers.

"We tried to come up with a situation that we can use year after year," he said. "It kind of comes alive on stage."

Show planning started in May with about 140 songs, Finn said. Finn and music director Beverly Spangler led monthly meetings to winnow that number to the 22 to 24 songs that are in the show. Performances are slated for Friday and Saturday nights, with a Sunday matinee.

Lyn Bergdoll, the new executive director of the theater, said the highlight of the show is a special tribute song by Jacquie Sutton.

Sutton wrote the song, "Is there a Santa Claus?," more than 40 years ago when she was a teacher at the old Lincoln Elementary School in York, Bergdoll said.

"She pulled it out and did it with the students in our class here," she recalled. "When the musical director saw it, she said we would really like to have that in the show."

The show is two hours, with a 15-minute intermission, Finn said. An ensemble cast of nine actors are joined in the production by 16 child actors ages 8 to 13.

Suitable for all ages, the show is "a little bit of Radio City here in York, minus the Rockettes," Finn said with a chuckle.

Last year's initial "Christmas Card" musical showcased cards from New York, Bethlehem and Charles Dickens-era London. All involved say the plan is for the show to become a yearly York staple.

The key thing is for the show to grow a little each year, Finn said. In that regard, year two includes costume changes, more elaborate sets and scenery.

"This is something that we really want to build here at the theater in the community," Bergdoll said.

-- JOHN HILTON,
Daily Record/Sunday News

If you go

WHAT: "A Musical Christmas Card"

WHEN: 7:30, Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: York Little Theatre, 27 S. Belmont St., Spring Garden Township

COST: $23 for adults, $21 for seniors (62 and over), $18 for students (13 and over) and $10 for children (12 and under)

DETAILS: Visit www.ylt.org/