A group of southern British Columbian musicians are bringing the oldest Christmas story on record to Parksville – but this time, with a new twist.
The cast of Christmas Tales have taken the story of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and breathed new life into it, expanding on the characters in the story and enlivening it with original music and performance.
“What’s wonderful about the story is that it’s very familiar, but it’s very fresh,” said Rosen.
“It’s the Christmas story, done really Christmasy, and really well, and fresh, and hip and cool at the same time.”
This marks the seventh year that Christmas Tales is touring, but the first time the show has stopped in Parksville.
The cast includes Graham Ord on electric and acoustic guitar, Russ Rosen on acoustic guitar and percussion and Justyn Rees pulling the musical performances together with storytelling in between songs.
New to the crew this year is Juno-nominated musician and vocalist Shari Ulrich, who will be playing guitar, mandolin and fiddle. All three musicians (Ord, Rosen and Ulrich) will be singing and crafting three part harmonies.
Rosen, who runs a music venue in Langley called Bez Arts Hub, says Christmas Tales has become a bit of a tradition for some of their fans.
“It feels like you’re so glad that you brought your whole family and all your friends to do a Christmas thing,” said Rosen.
“They’re going to sing the songs, they’re going to hear the story, they’re going to have a laugh.”
Rosen says that Rees’ storytelling lends an element of depth to the piece and explores the stories of certain characters in ways that you might not expect.
“It’s uncanny how you didn’t think there was that little bit of inspiration in the say, the inkeepers’ story, or the wisemen’s story of what they do, and you’re like wow,” said Rosen.
“Everybody wants to live better after they hear it, you know. Make Christmas mean more, that kind of thing.”
Rosen describes the show as theatrical, and the poster bills it as a live version of an old time Christmas radio drama.
They’ll be touring the show for almost a month, starting in Abbotsford on Nov. 29 and ending in Ulrich’s home of Bowen Island on Dec. 21, making stops in the Okanagan and the Cariboo along the way.
The show plays in Parksville at Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
The show is open to all ages, and tickets can be purchased online at www.gzalounge.com.