Diva and Christmas – two words that do not seem to go together very well as diva conjures up images of a feisty, stubborn woman whereas Christmas evokes images of cheer and goodwill. Attempting to demonstrate that the two can be married into one entertaining show, Serenbe Playhouse presents A Diva’s Christmas, staring Kylie Brown, Caroline Freedlund, and Dasie Thames.
Fresh off the popular Spring Awakening at Actor’s Express and busy preparing for the spring production of Stephen King and John Mellencamp’s Ghost Brothers of Darkland County at the Alliance Theatre, Kylie Brown expresses excitement for the show and an appreciation to be a part of it. For her the show offers an opportunity to do something different while showcasing her comedic and vocal abilities.
As one of the divas, Brown hopes to show audiences that a diva doesn’t have to be on the naughty list. The show features three divas who are presenting a cabaret performance for the holidays. “We are playing Sex and the City-type personas that are going to put on a Christmas show,” Brown comments. “They are like a dysfunctional family. They pick on each other, but deep down they love each other.”
Unlike the characters they play, the actresses themselves are not divas. However, they each enjoy getting to play one. “What has been really fun about working on the project is that it is fun to be darker, spicier versions of ourselves,” states Brown.
Each of the ladies in the cast is known for her vocal prowess. According to Brown, her cast mates have “amazing voices,” and she is honored to sing alongside them. “Dasie’s voice is like honey, and Caroline is talented and very fun,” she comments.
During the show the ladies, in a cabaret-style atmosphere, will belt out familiar music. “There are contemporary Christmas tunes that people will love and Broadway diva tunes in there as well,” Brown says. In true diva fashion, not all of the arrangements will be the standard one audiences are used to hearing.
“The music will be pretty; it is a neat blend of Christmas tunes, favorite classics and fun, fresh modern remixes,” Brown says. “There is a great mix of songs we don’t get the opportunity to do much.” Some of the songs that will be performed are “White Christmas,” “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and “Defying Gravity.”
Keeping in true cabaret spirit, A Diva’s Christmas will be performed in a variety of high-end restaurants and lounges around Atlanta, including Friday performances at Callaway Gardens, where dinner is included with each ticket. “I think it is going to be exciting and fresh,” Brown states. “It is a great way to spend my holiday by going to these different places.”
With dialogue written by Rachel Teagle, the night promises to be full of wit and charm. According to Brown, the show will be “very clever and cute; she does it so effortlessly.” Teagle, who wrote this past summer’s The Ugly Duckling, is not new to Serenbe’s audiences. She has shaped the characters to “have a little bit of cattiness,” but the audience will get to see the characters’ “icy exteriors melt a bit.”
Working with Teagle has been something that Brown relishes. “She is brilliant,” states Brown. “I am so excited I got to meet and work with her.” With Teagle’s humor and charm, audience members should expect to hear biting sarcasm and a moving story. “It will be fun to see some female humbugs get into the spirit of Christmas,” she says.
She also offers a lot of praise for A Diva’s Christmas Director, Brian Clowdus as well as Serenbe Playhouse. “Brian Clowdus is great,” she mentions. “[Serenbe Playhouse] is a great venue to work with.” In addition to Clowdus and Teagle, the creative team includes Seth Davis who provides music direction for the show.
With a variety of holiday offerings in Atlanta this season, Brown feels A Diva’s Christmas stands out among the rest. “There are a lot of 1940’s shows and A Christmas Carol,” but with A Diva’s Christmas, audiences will find something that is different, “something spicy.”
The show plays at the following venues:
- Saturday, December 3 at 9:30 p.m. at The Hil in Serenbe
- Saturday, December 10 at 9:00 p.m. at Livingston in Downtown
- Saturday, December 17 at 9:30 p.m. at The Hil in Serenbe
- Sunday, December 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Valenza in Brookhaven
- Each Friday in December at 7:00 p.m. at Callaway Gardens
For more information, please visit Serenbe Playhouse’s website. Tickets to The Hil and Livingston shows are $20, and tickets are available on Serenbe Playhouse’s website. Tickets to Valenza and Callaway Gardens are $60 with dinner included. For tickets to shows at Callaway Gardens, please visit their website or call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292). For tickets to Valenza, call 404-969-3233.
By Kenny Norton