ShareThis Page

Split Stage Productions musical revue sure to get you in the holiday spirit

| Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Zakk Mannella (from left),Victoria Buchtan, Brittany Tague, Meighan Lloyd Harding and Josh Reardon star in Split Stage Productions' 'That Time of the Year' Dec. 15-16 at The Lamp Theatre, Irwin.
Zakk Mannella (from left),Victoria Buchtan, Brittany Tague, Meighan Lloyd Harding and Josh Reardon star in Split Stage Productions' 'That Time of the Year' Dec. 15-16 at The Lamp Theatre, Irwin.

Everybody has their favorite holiday tunes – from the sublime “Silver Bells” to the silly “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” No matter which songs of the season are on people's playlists, music has to be one of the best parts of “That Time of the Year.”

Split Stage Productions offers some new selections in a musical revue at the Lamp Theatre in Irwin featuring 25 all-original Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's songs in musical genres from show tunes to rock, blues and jazz.

Written by Laurence Holzman and Felicia Needleman with music by seven different composers, the show is described as a multi-cultural, multi-faith and multi-generational musical. “That Time of the Year” originally was presented as a cabaret show in New York City in December 1996. A decade later, it opened off-Broadway at the York Theatre Company in Manhattan.

The Split Stage production features cast members Victoria Buchtan, Meighan Lloyd Harding, Brittany Tague, Zakk Mannella and Josh Reardon performing 30 new songs focusing on the meaning behind the holidays and the joy and stress encountered by preparing for them.

“There is no ‘Last Christmas' or ‘Let it Snow' in this production,” says Mannella of Pittsburgh. “The show is entirely sung through, so learning all of that music in such a short amount of time was not only challenging, but a lot of fun. It's been a while since I've been in a show where I honestly didn't even know one song.”

He says the show is funny and “it covers a lot of ground” with new music for both Hanukkah and Christmas.

“The music, when not funny, is really beautiful and has moments that made all of us in rehearsal really proud to be in this show,” Mannella says. “The audience will definitely leave laughing, and despite them being all new songs, I guarantee they'll be humming at least one of them when they leave.”

Harding, a Seton Hill University alum who has been doing shows in Westmoreland County for more than 20 years, says the sheer volume of music is keeping the cast on their toes.

“With only five of us and some 30 original songs, we each have a lot of material to cover,” she says.

Matt Mylnarski of Lower Burrell directs “That Time of the Year,” Andrew DeBroeck serves as music director and Ashley Harmon is choreographer.

Mylnarski recommends this musical revue for anyone who still needs to get into the holiday spirit.

“They should make definitely make the trip to see this amazing cast perform this show. I cannot say enough great things about my talented cast and crew; it is an amazing group of people,” he says.

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me