Archive

ShareThis Page
‘Spectacular Christmas’ in store for audiences | TribLIVE.com
Music

‘Spectacular Christmas’ in store for audiences

Rex Rutkoski
| Wednesday, December 12, 2018 12:03 a.m
501486gtrtkpopxmas03121318
Submitted
Latshaw Pops Spectacular Christmas Show 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at The Palace Theatre, Greensburg, and 2 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Lamp Theatre, Irwin.
501486gtrtkpopxmas02121318
Submitted
Frank Czuri of the Skyliners, Igniters and WeeJams is one of the featured vocalists at the Latshaw Pops Spectacular Christmas Show.
501486gtrtkpopxmas01121318
Submitted
Salem Township native Billy Porter returns to emcee and host Latshaw Pops Spectacular Christmas Show .
501486gtrtkpopxmas04121318
Submitted
Delmont native Lindsay Fitzgerald is prepared to entertain.

Not only is he a “Christmas person,” Salem Township’s Billy Porter says, “I I think I am the Christmas person!”

“It’s my favorite time of the year and for me it begins around 12:01 a.m. on Nov 1st, just as soon as Halloween is over! For me it truly is the most wonderful time of the year,” explains Porter, a Broadway touring professional.

That’s why he is not only happy, but elated, to once again emcee and host the annual Latshaw Pops Spectacular Christmas Show 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at The Palace Theatre, Greensburg, and 2 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Lamp Theatre, Irwin.

“We have a lot of great music, talented entertainers, great singers, dancers and musicians ready to put you in the Christmas spirit!” Porter says.

“After traveling with the orchestra for seven years, it’s always nice to come home from New York City, not only to the Latshaw Pops Orchestra, but to my hometown of Greensburg,” he adds. “I love this music and sharing what makes Christmas special to us with new audiences everywhere.”

It promises to be another memorable experience, says producer Gary Latshaw.

The cast

“In addition to Billy Porter, there will be 22 musicians, a conductor, five singers and three dancers combining their talents to recall Christmas music and stories and enduring customs of Christmas,” he explains.

It proves to be a winning formula every year.

“Every show is met with a standing ovation,” Latshaw says. “Audiences seem to appreciate the remarkable talent, colorful costumes, energetic choreography and even a visit from Santa,” he says.

Music on which
we can agree

“Christmas music is one of the few remaining institutions that everyone can agree on,” Latshaw says. “With pop music especially being as diversified as it is, it’s reassuring to think that during the holiday season everybody can enjoy a Christmas variety show. The Latshaw Pops Orchestra captures it in an authentic way with memories of endearing songs and carols, he says.

Delmont native Lindsay Fitzgerald, director of the Latshaw Pops Singers and Dancers, in her seventh season, says this year the company is introducing a special segment aimed at children.

“We wanted to create a world that would bring holiday magic to our audiences in a fun and interactive way,” she explains.

LikePorter, she gets into the Christmas spirit early.

“I love the entire holiday season, starting with Halloween, which my husband and I were married on. Once September hits, I am that person all ready to decorate and sing any kind of holiday music.” she says. “There is a certain magic in experiencing the music with an entire orchestra behind you, which makes it feel even more special.”

Hope and love

This is always a busy and frantic time of year, the Monroeville resident acknowledges, “but it is also filled with so much hope and love.”

Frank Czuri, a member of the Skyliners, Igniters and WeeJams, says he really enjoys taking part in these shows.

“Generally I’m not known for Christmas music, and that’s why this is so much fun,” he explains.

He will offer solos, including Otis Redding’s version of Charles Brown’s “Merry Christmas Baby,” and also ensemble harmony vocals.

“The singers, dancers and musicians are really top talents and I’m proud to share the stage with them. Gary Latshaw really puts on a first class variety Christmas show, the kind I grew up with on TV,” Czuri says.

His fellow Skyliner, Donna Groom, plans some old favorites such as the Carpenters’ version of “Merry Christmas Darling,” Darlene Love’s “Baby Please Come Home” and, she says, “a great bossa nova version of ‘Blue Christmas.’ ”

Groom also embraces the holiday with enthusiasm. It really is the most magical time of the year, she says. “The music, singers and dancers make this show a holiday spectacular to start the season.”

Rex Rutkoski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.