It’s Christmas on the Coast and The Ukee Glee Kids are ready to rock locals into the holiday spirit.
About 30 local youth, from 7-18 years old, will pack the Ucluelet Community Centre with good cheer this weekend with two performances of How the Grinch Stole the Nightmare Before Christmas.
The shows are scheduled for Dec. 16 and Dec. 17 with both starting at 6:30 p.m. and doors opening at 6 p.m.
The group began rehearsing at the beginning of September and Glee co-founder Courtney Johnson is stoked to see their efforts wow their weekend crowds.
“I can’t say enough about how wonderfully talented these kids are,” Johnson told the Westerly News. “They are just incredible and they make me proud every day. They really are excited to show the community what they are capable of.”
Johnson wrote the script, which meshes Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas to concoct a delightful holiday romp through Christmastown and Halloweentown.
“Both places have become a little obsessed with their holidays and start celebrating every day,” Johnson said. “You can just imagine the chaos with all the daily trick or treating and constant present shopping. So, Cindy Lou Who from Christmastown and Sally from Halloweentown each leave their home, randomly meet, and come up with a harmless scheme to teach their friends about what is really important around the holiday season.”
She said the weekend’s audiences will be delighted with the storyline.
“The two stories are definitely classics in their own way,” she said. “Everyone has seen the Grinch and Nightmare Before Christmas is such an unusual story. It was really fun to blend them together and kids are doing the performing. I think locals will love it.”
Johnson added her Glee co-founder Sarah Hogan came up with “fabulous” choreography to bring the performance to life.
“The show is also narrated by Bill Morrison,” Johnson said. “The first time I ever heard him speak I always thought he’d be a great grinch-story narrator. I’m so happy it was able to happen.”
She said the Glee Kids have worked hard to master their roles and she hopes to see a big turnout come support them.
“It’s important because they’re our kids. The children who are being raised in this wonderful little town. They say it takes a community to raise a child and this is one way to do just that. The community support helps them shine even brighter,” she said. “I want to thank the members of the community and local business that help make this show possible. I’m so grateful for their support.”
Johnson and Hogan launched the local Glee program in 2012 in an effort to create a venue for local youth to express and explore their creativity and Johnson said the talent-level has consistently soared.
“Performing arts are important for many reasons,” she said. “I’ve known some of these children for several years and it’s amazing to see them grow and really feel comfortable in their talents. They have confidence. Every person has a talent and something to offer the world. Glee is another way to share those gifts.”
She said Glee is “still going strong,” and she’s committed to keeping it alive and growing.
“I’ll keep running it as long as there are youth in Ucluelet that want to perform,” she said.
“There is a special sense of community pride when we watch our children come together and do something awesome. These kids are just so good.”