May Stanley (left)

May Stanley (left)

Believe again when The Holiday Express stops in Vernon

Center Stage Performing Arts Academy’s Junior Company embarks on The Holiday Express at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Dec. 2.

Some of us may remember how old we were when we began to question what we had always believed to be the truth about Santa Claus, the North Pole, flying reindeer, and all things elfish.

It was a time when the child-like innocence  and the magic of Christmas began to fade.

Center Stage Performing Arts Academy’s Junior Company is about to have audiences believing in the magic of the season all over again when it embarks on The Holiday Express at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.

“We really wanted to highlight the beautiful music from the score of The Polar Express, so we called upon Mica Lemiski, a former student of mine who is now pursuing her masters in creative writing at UBC to create a script,” said Centre Stage director and musical theatre instructor Charity Van Gameren.

“Mica did an amazing job of giving us characters and a story for us all to love and she allowed us to not only feature this amazing score, but add songs that are near and dear to many.”

The Holiday Express is told through the eyes of a young girl named Kimmi (played by May Stanley), who has an inquisitive mind and has always been told to seek the truth from her parents.

Kimmi is at an age where she is trying to separate fact from fiction when she is suddenly transported onto the Holiday Express, where she meets many colourful and fun characters including Miss Marzipan (played by Sydney Byles), the head conductor from the South Pole.

Kimmi finds friendship with some of the other children on the Holiday Express and goes for a train ride unlike any other, encountering not only the beauty of the Aurora Borealis and a snow-covered landscape, but the warmth of friendship and the truth about what Christmas means to her.

Audiences will hear classics such as Old Toy Trains, sung by Centre Stage’s kindergarten to Grade 2 classes, and a high-energy tap dance/song to the famous Hot Chocolate song from The Polar Express.

“Our intro dancers will be the cutest snowflakes you have ever seen and Seeing is Believing will be a ribbon dance performed by our Junior 1 dance class,” said Van Gameren, adding The Ronettes 1950’s song Sleigh Ride and many others will have audiences singing along.

“The family-friendly musical is an hour in length and is the perfect start to the holidays.  It will allow you to believe in the spirit of the season,” said Van Gameren.

As of press time, less than 100 tickets were available for the Dec. 2 production. Call or visit the Ticket Seller at 250-549-7469, ticketseller.ca for availability.