A Christmas Memory, aka Truman Capote Christmas to open 11/27 at Sierra Madre Playhouse

Alison Kalmus...director of A Christmas Memory
Alison Kalmus…director of A Christmas Memory

What…Truman Capote at the center of a story for Christmas?  Yes, in short this is a loosely based story of his childhood in the foster system and the family that contemplated saving him by sending him to a military school for more structure and balance.  There’s your synopsis, the real story lies in the casting and direction of turning this short story in to a musical complete with ukelele.  Starring a former “harlette” from Better Midler’s cast of  talented crazies this play will be directed by Alison Kalmus, a real treasure and supporter of the Sierra Madre Playhouse.

This isn’t her directing debut with the Playhouse, that was 2004 with A Christmas Carol Story, no this will be her 5th play directed for the Playhouse.  She brings a creative vision that ties music and the story line together in what is hoped to be a magical evening.  Alison is a huge supporter of the Sierra Madre Playhouse and helps to bring their mission of American Plays by American authors in historical context.  I can’t wait to see this play.

And I don’t have to wait for the grand opening as I’ll be hosting another soft opening blogathon at the Playhouse for this play the evening of November 25, 2015,  Care to be one of the first to get a sneak peak, a little look see and tweet and instagram it for posterity?  Message me at [email protected] with your twitter handle and instagram and I’ll get back to you with details. I can promise you a most outstanding theatre experience, booze and of course my famous Browned Butter Brownies to keep you satiated during the intermission and before hand.

Full press release after the jump:


Publicity for the theatre

P.O. Box 94387

Pasadena, CA 91109-4387

(626) 683-9205

fax (626) 683-9172

e-mail: [email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         October 11, 2015

Press/media contact: Philip Sokoloff, (626) 683-9205, [email protected]


WHAT: A Christmas Memory. A musical.

WHO: Based on the short story by Truman Capote. Book by Duane Poole. Music by Larry Grossman. Lyrics by Carol Hall. Directed and choreographed by Alison Eliel Kalmus. Musical director: Emily Cohn. Produced for Sierra Madre Playhouse by John Sparks, Christian Lebano and Estelle Campbell.

WHERE: Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Sierra Madre is just east of Pasadena. There is ample free parking behind the Playhouse.

WHEN: November 27- December 27, 2015.

Fridays at 8:00 p.m. on November 27, December 4,, 11 and 18.

Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. on December 12, 19 and 26.

Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. on November 28, December 5, 12, 19 and 26.

Sundays at 2:30 p.m. o November 29, December 6, 13, 20 and 27.

Tuesday, December 22 at 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, December 23 at 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 10 at 2:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 17 at 8:00 p.m.

ADMISSION: General $34.50. Seniors (65+) $32.00. Youth (to age 21) $25.00/

RESERVATIONS: (626) 355-4318.

ONLINE TICKETING: www.sierramadreplayhouse.org

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Fresh from the twin triumphs of its Ovation Award-nominated shows Always…Patsy Cline and A Walk in the Woods, Sierra Madre Playhouse presents a special treat for its audiences, a musical for the holidays: A Christmas Memory.

            A Christmas Memory is a musical memoir of a lad’s life during the Great Depression in rural Alabama. Raised in a house full of older relatives, young Buddy becomes best friends with one of them, the mature woman Sook. Both somewhat socially awkward, they are completely comfortable with each other. Sook’s love helps her young cousin endure an occasionally difficult growing up. Buddy and Sook make whiskey-laden holiday fruitcakes and fly kites during what may be their last holiday season together; Jennie, the de facto family matriarch, is planning to send Buddy, whom she thinks needs more structure and discipline, to military school. Buddy and Sook attempt to thwart her.

Some two decades later, upon his return to his childhood home, an adult Buddy, now a successful writer, realizes the next story he is to write is…this one.

A Christmas Memory is based on a short story by Truman Capote (1924-1984). Capote was the creator of classic American stories ranging from romantic fantasy (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) to true crime (In Cold Blood) to classic film comedy (Beat the Devil, starring Humphrey Bogart). Capote won the Emmy ® Award for a 1967 television adaptation of A Christmas Memory.

            The musical’s book is by Duane Poole, who also wrote the book for Dorian, a musical version of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Lyricist Carol Hall also wrote lyrics for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and A…My Name Is Alice, among many other shows. Two-time Tony® nominee and composer Larry Grossman wrote the musical scores for Minnie’s Boys, Paper Moon, Snoopy! The Musical and more.

The musical version of A Christmas Memory debuted in 2010. The Sierra Madre Playhouse production marks its local premiere.

Alison Eliel Kalmus directs and choreographs. She is no stranger to Sierra Madre Playhouse audiences, having directed their productions of The Gondoliers, The Sound of Music, Narnia, and A Christmas Carol Story.

Best known among the cast of A Christmas Memory is Charlo Crossley, who was featured in the Academy Award® winning music documentary 20 Feet From Stardom. The cast also includes (in alphabetical order) Ian Branch, Jeff Scot Carey, Lucy Ferrante, Patrick Geringer, Jean Kauffman, Diane Kelber,. Kevin Michael Moran, Samantha Salamoff and Christopher Showerman.

Set design: David Goldstein. Costume design: Vicki Conrad. Sound design: Barry Schwam. Properties: Erin Walley. Ukelele coach: Mike Gregan. Dialect coach: Deborah Ross  Sullivan. Animal trainer: Stuart Galbraith. Musicians: Katie Clark, Brent Crayon, Sean Paxton, Brian Cannady. Stage manager: Kelsey O’Keeffe. Assistant stage manager: Emily Hopfauf.

A special, themed lobby display will be curated by Diane Siegel.

A Christmas Memory is a reminder of joyful, simpler, bygone times in American life, sure to impart a warm glow to family audiences.