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Albert Gallatin students stage ‘Gift’ for audiences

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Bailey Turner (left) and Michael Yoder rehearse a scene from Albert Gallatin's production of 'Gift of the Magi.'

The timeless tale of unselfish love and true devotion will unfold for audiences who attend Albert Gallatin High School drama department’s production of “Gift of the Magi,” which will be staged for one performance for the district’s annual holiday dinner show.

“We have people tell us every year that the show is their official start of the Christmas season,” director Toby Maykuth said of the district’s tradition of more than 20 years. “They tell us that it is the first holiday event that they attend to get ready for the holidays.”

Maykuth said that the classic tale of the poor couple who go to great lengths to get a perfect gift for each other was not familiar to most of the students by name, but when he explained the story of true love, most of them recognized it.

“They didn’t know it as an O. Henry classic but some of them said, ‘Oh, I saw the Disney version’ or ‘I saw the Muppet version,’ so they knew the story itself, just not as something done by O. Henry.”

The drama group presented “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus” last year for the holiday dinner show, and Maykuth said it was a hit at the school.

“It was probably one of our best-received Christmas shows,” Maykuth said. “The audience really enjoyed it.”

The show this year was chosen because it was one that had not been done, and Maykuth noted that it contains a wonderful message.

“It’s such a great story, such a classic story,” Maykuth said, adding that it’s appropriate for all ages but older children and adults might enjoy it more for its message.

“I think that most people know the story and enjoy it,” he said.

The students have been rehearsing for weeks for the show, which will feature caroling and narration in addition to the traditional format of the show.

“The main characters will be in period clothes set in the 1920s and 1930s,” Maykuth said, explaining that the other students in the production will not be in period attire but will speak in the dialect set by O. Henry, which has proven to be a bit of a challenge.

“They are having a little difficulty with the vocabulary,” Maykuth said. “It’s set to the style of O. Henry, and it’s different for them but it’s all coming together nicely. They are doing a nice job with this.”

Proceeds from the dinner will be used by the student drama group for upcoming productions.

The dinner will begin at 6 p.m. Friday. The cost for the dinner and show will be $17.50.

For those who would like to attend the show only, tickets will be sold at the door for $3. The show will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Albert Gallatin High School auditorium.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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