Humbug or Merry Christmas. Whose ever side you are on, the chipper nephew Fred’s, or the “What reason do you have to be Merry” Scrooge, the new production of Westben’s A Christmas Carol is bound to put a smile on your face and warmth in your heart. Speaking of warmth, you may brave the elements and see this concert at The Westben Barn on November 26 at 1 pm (before the Santa Claus parade) or November 27 at 3 pm. The Barn will be festively decorated and the complimentary homemade cookies and hot apple cider will be ready for you. However, if you like it toasty, come to Norwood United Church December 3 at 3 pm or St Andrew’s United Church (now called Emmanuel United) in Peterborough December 4 at 3 pm. This new production is a narrated concert based on Charles Dickens’ Classic Story with traditional seasonal music and original music by Brian Finley. This will be veteran actor Frank Moore’s debut in the role of Scrooge. Frank Moore, who now lives in Warkworth began his life in Bay-de-Verde, Newfoundland, and grew up in Toronto from the age of seven. His quest to become a singer/songwriter began fresh out of high school, playing clubs in Yorkville in the Sixties. After being mentored by rock ‘n roll legend, Ronny Hawkins, he soon became a regular performer on the CBC variety series, The Good Company. Frank also owes a debt of gratitude to director, the late Peter Carter, for giving him his first taste of acting on camera in the CBC short film, God’s Sparrows. Another major influence was the legendary musician/composer/ arranger, the late Ron Collier, who applied his great talent and expertise to arranging Frank’s original songs for the movie, Face-Off! After appearing in the Toronto production of the musical, HAIR, in 1969/70, Frank was hired by the late Bill Glassco, to appear in the first productions of the Tarragon Theatre. Since then, he has spent most of his time in the world of acting, but whether it be appearing in some of Toronto’s major stage musicals like, Les Miserables, or by including it in his own writing, as in his novella, The Return, music continues to be an integral part of his life and work. Frank recently performed at Westben this past summer in the Kisses on Broadway show. Frank will be joined with his new friends from the Westben Choruses including Daniel Benjamin as Fred, Dan Foster as Bob Crachit with his family played by Norah Watson, Sophia DeJong, Maddie Wynn, Janey King with Lewis Stille and Benjamin Marshall sharing the role of Tiny Tim. Michael Nitsch will play the ghost Marley, Lyla Elliott Christmas Past, Ivan Stille Christmas Present and the Spirits, Canvassers, narrators, business associates, undertakers and other roles will be played by the Westben Youth, Teen and Festival Choruses. The 80 voices of the Westben Choirs will be led by myself and Brian Finley. Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat so time to put your tickets for the Westben Christmas Carol concert on your list. Tickets are available on www.westben.ca or through the Box Office 705 653 5508/877-883-5777. Hope to see you at this seasonal favourite.
Westben Article for the Community Press, November 10, 2016