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Plenty of holiday shows to unwrap at First Presbyterian

Thom Hofrichter

Thom Hofrichter

Whatzup Features Writer

Published November 21, 2019

Don’t get confused this holiday season! First Presbyterian Theater will have three shows running over the holidays.

The two shows that FPT is producing are Christmas Songs and Stories and The Santaland Diaries. And for the fifth straight year, we are also hosting Fort Wayne Youtheatre’s Christmas production. This year, it’s Frozen Jr.

Christmas Songs and Stories is a delightful review starring Renee Gonzales and Nancy Kartholl with Tommy Saul on the piano. As the title suggests, they will be singing songs and telling stories that are favorites at this time of the year. The first act will be Santa and reindeer and snowman and the secular joy our culture has built up around the Christmas holiday. But the second act is the real story, the one about Christ the Savior’s birth. The second act is told with the sacred music and scriptures that we love to revisit every December.

Next, The Santaland Diaries looks at the holiday from another perspective. Anyone familiar with the work of David Sedaris knows he has that unique American humor reminiscent of Mark Twain’s best social commentary.

In this show, Kevin Torwelle plays Crumpet the elf, a seasonal worker in “Santaland” at Macy’s Department Store in New York City. I have a soft spot in my heart for this show because I was once a Santa Claus on the Las Vegas Strip’s Fashion Show Mall. Working in a “Santaland” is an experience everyone should have once in their lifetime, or at least witness it vicariously through this play. A warning: The show is rated R for some language and adult situations.

Performances for Christmas Songs and Stories are at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Nov. 30, Dec. 7, and Dec. 14, and at 7:30 p.m. on Sundays, Dec. 8 and 15. We have one Sunday matinee on Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. Those devotees to First Presbyterian Theater will notice this is a unique schedule. That is because we are sharing our space with Fort Wayne Youtheatre.

The Santaland Diaries will run for two performances only, December 20 and 21. These Friday and Saturday performances will start at 7:30 p.m.

For tickets to Christmas Songs and Stories or The Santaland Diaries, call 260-426-7421 extension 121 or visit

If you would like tickets to the Fort Wayne Youtheatre’s Frozen Jr., contact the Arts United box office at (260) 422-4226 or go online at


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