Holiday showcase: Christmas at the Ricks features regional, local talent

0
50

GREENFIELD – Renowned electric violinist Cathy Morris will headline Christmas at the Ricks this weekend, a fundraising talent show Dec. 16 that also features three local acts vying for prize money.

The event begins at 7 p.m. but doors open at 6 p.m. with a cash bar available. Proceeds of the event will raise money for upkeep and maintenance of the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts.

The event already brought in more than $1,000 with online voting to determine which three local acts will be there. More voting will take place at the event to determine the $500 first-place winner.

“During their performances, the audience will have a chance to vote for their favorite performer,” said Dan Scharbrough, chairman of the show. “And based on the tally of that vote will determine the winner and second and third place.”

Local acts are The Hutcherson Family performing “Snow Miser-Heat Miser” from the 1970s Rankin/Bass Production of “The Year without Santa Claus;” singer Alex Ross with “Hard Candy Christmas;” and the New Palestine Intermediate School Ring Ensemble, performing a holiday medley.

When you come to the show, be sure to tell which act you’re supporting. That counts as one vote. Then audience dollars cast more votes throughout the night.

The annual event is produced by The Friends of the Theater, the group that supports the historic theater at 122 W. Main St., Greenfield. In 2017, taxpayer support of the venue ended, so several members of the local arts community came together to find a solution to keep the theater running. The Friends works with the Hancock County Visitors Bureau to raise money and support the theater: earlier this year, new seats were purchased for the auditorium.

Scharbrough said this year’s fundraiser will continue to support general upkeep of the building, including maintenance. A goal for the near future is to purchase a larger movie screen and projector.

Cathy Morris combines contemporary jazz melodies and chords with Latin rhythms, funk grooves, fusion, rock, blues, Celtic and even Cajun in a sound she calls “Party Jazz.” A staple in the Midwest arts community for more than 20 years, Morris is a vocalist and electric violinist who has performed at concerts, festivals, ceremonies and more.

Morris will perform in the first half of the show, followed by the local acts: Alex Ross is a newcomer to the competition. The Greenfield singer has been in many local products and says that “Hard Candy Christmas “ has been a long family favorite.

The New Palestine intermediate School Bell Choir is led by Kathryn Ray, who is also a local dance instructor. The hand-chime group will perform a holiday medley.

The Hutcherson Family is led by dad Coy, who used to be in a gospel trio with a record label until he stepped back to focus on family. Coy Hutcherson has been in many local musical productions plays, and has participated in past Christmas at the Ricks shows.

Scharbrough said while the votes are tallied, Morris will perform a finale and then the winners will be announced.

Tickets are $15 at the door, and $12 in advance at hctheaterfriends.org. For more on the headliner, visit cathymorris.com. To view videos of the local acts and learn more about Friends of the Theater, visit facebook.com/hctheaterfriends.