DICKINSON, N.D. — Following an innovative livestreaming holiday production in 2020, “A Magical Medora Christmas” is back on the road for a seasonal tour of performances, traveling across the Dakotas, Montana and Minnesota.
With 30 performances in 22 different communities, a cast of eight actors from Medora’s past and present productions will help audiences get into the holiday spirit. From Saturday, Nov. 27, through Thursday, Dec. 23, “A Magical Medora Christmas” brings a family-friendly holiday show that’s “full of spirit, humor and expertly performed music that audiences have grown to expect from Medora,” officials from the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation said in a news release.
Returning to the stage as the 2021 tour anchor, veteran Medora entertainer Bill Sorenson said he’s ready to be back in action after last year’s season was transformed into a smaller setting at the Old Town Hall Theater in Medora with limited attendees and livestream performances to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
"The response to our tour has been overwhelmingly positive, and extremely rewarding,” Sorensen said. "This year, folks are in for a lot of fun. We're bringing back some of our most well-received songs, and adding a lot of new material — all performed by some of the very best talent Medora has ever offered."
Among the seasoned cast members, J'Kobe Wallace, of Minot, shared his thoughts on the upcoming holiday tour in a Q&A after wrapping up the summer-long "2021 Medora Musical."
Q&A with 'A Magical Medora Christmas' J'Kobe Wallace
Q: What part/role do you play in "A Magical Medora Christmas"?
A: This style of show doesn’t actually have “roles” like a traditional musical. I am one of the many people on and off stage responsible for providing a bit of holiday cheer through music and laughter.
Q: Since last year's production was halted and refrained from touring due to the coronavirus pandemic, how does it feel to be back in action and on tour?
A: This is my second year doing the Medora Christmas Show, so this will be my first time touring this production. Last year, we offered a livestream option and performed in Medora exclusively. I look forward to seeing how everyone can safely enjoy live theater so we can continue bringing theatre to communities in the Midwest.
Q: What's new to the production this year?
A: The show is different every single year, but this cast and crew are filled with talented and dynamic performers that have been involved with the "Medora Musical," "Gospel Brunch" and the most recent production of "Ring of Fire." The addition of new faces (including mine to some), adds to the exciting nature of bringing a wonderful, fresh show to people all over.
Q: What are you most excited about with this production?
A: As a military kid, I spent many holidays without my mom being around due to deployments. There’s a section of the show where we acknowledge military personnel/ first responders and their families that have similar situations for the holidays this year. I’m excited to be a part of that section as someone who values family time over the holidays.
Q: How does this production compare to other productions you've been involved in?
A: Since completing the 2021 Medora Musical season, I moved back to New York where I performed at 54 Below. In that space, I wasn’t featured as a North Dakotan in the same way I am in Medora productions. There’s a different kind of rush when people from Minot cheer or react to seeing someone from their hometown on stage as compared to performing somewhere outside of the area. It’s an honor to get to represent a small part of the professional arts community cultivated in the Midwest.
Q: Why would you encourage people to come and watch "A Magical Medora Christmas"?
A: Now, more than ever, we need a sense of community and reflection. I think the way this show is being crafted, you’ll find that it’s a breath of fresh air filled with masterful musicianship, comedy and the spirit of the holidays.
If you go
The "A Magical Medora Christmas" tour will stop throughout Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Among the 22 cities, the show will play in Pierre and Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Grand Forks, Fargo, Jamestown and Bismarck, North Dakota; and Alexandria, Park Rapids and Henning, Minnesota.
Tickets for those and other tour locations are on sale now at medora.com. For a complete tour schedule, visit medora.com/do/entertainment/a-magical-medora-christmas.