A Lake Ridge tradition

In its fifth year, the adult musical brings humor, a message each Christmas

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Lake Ridge Christian Church will present its annual adult musical “Christmas at Lake Ridge” Dec. 1-2 at the church on the Steidl Road.

The musical, for those from seventh grade through adults, will be presented at 4 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2 p.m. Dec. 2.

There is no charge to attend, according to Spenser Carrell, the worship minister for the congregation who also is the writer and director.

Carrell said the musical is marking its fifth anniversary with this year’s production.

Each year, a brand new musical is written with new songs, characters and a unique message, Carrell explained.

“Inspiration comes from all over the place — passages of scripture, videos, pop culture and more,” he said.

Past productions have included a choir competition, a Grinch-like boss at a hospital, a fight between Raggedy Ann and Barbie, a pirate journey and a reality television show about love. The musicals are always a highlight of the church year, according to those who participate.

“Each year, I look for different ideas and potential settings for the new story. Each story contains a different message,” Carrell said.

While sometimes the productiondoes incorporate the Nativity, “it’s not something that we include in every story,” Carrell explained. “Keeping Christ at the focus of Christmas, standing up for what’s right and Christ’s love for us are just a few of the messages we’ve shared through these musicals.”

Carrell said each year the story goes through many rough drafts. and may even starts as early as the previous year.

A rough storyboard of what will take place is usually finished before the previous musical has even been performed, he said.

The script is finalized in the spring, the cast is put together in the summer, and practices begin in August.

“A lot of hard work goes into learning all the songs, lines and choreography,” Carrell observed. “We utilize a mix of fun Christmas songs, Christmas carols, worship songs, Broadway hits and popular music.”

Props are rounded up — building them if necessary — and work then begins on the stage.

“Each year, we paint the walls and add all the details to transform the stage whether it be a hospital, a toybox, or a village,” he said.

Carrell emphasized one of the most important elements to the production, of course, is all the people.

“We have been blessed to have many people be a part of the musical each year.,” he noted. “We love to have everyone sharing this message alongside one another. That’s what we want to share — the message.”

Everyone has a million things to do during the Christmas season, Carrell said, “but we hope you’ll take some time to stop, laugh, sing along and hear the message behind the story.”

This year’s story involves the character Daisy, who learns the real definition of family at Christmas time when tragedy strikes and she has to learn how to move forward with her friends, family and a struggling business, Carrell explained.

“We know there are a lot of things going on but we hope you’ll be able to attend one of our two performances,” he concluded.

Lake Ridge Christian Church is located at 122 E Steidl Road in Paris.