By Ron Eldridge
For a moment step back in time … say about five months before 1 A.D. There was no Jerry Springer or Wendy Williams, no reality shows or National Enquirer, no mass media to spread personal news or gossip, thank goodness! If so, where would the world be today?
Let’s go back in time and consider Mother Mary and Joseph’s predicament. Expecting! How count that be? By Whom? Wouldn’t you have liked to have been a fly on the wall then? What did Mother Mary say? How did Joseph react?
Come Dec. 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11, you can be that fly on the wall during that most exasperating time when Mother Mary had to explain to Joseph that she was four months pregnant and carrying the immaculate conception of Christ. Yadkin Cultural Arts Center’s Willingham Theater will tell this story in the unique holiday theatrical presentation, “REJOICE!”
The playwright and director is Ron Stacker Thompson, professional teacher, actor, dancer, singer, playwright and stage director, screenwriter and film producer. Ron has produced such diverse films as “A Rage in Harlem,” “Deep Cover,” “The Cemetery Club,” “Sister Act 2” and “Hoodlum.” Ron has collaborated professionally with Martin Luther King’s daughter Yolanda, Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Ellen Burstyn, Maya Angelou, Laurence Fishburne, Jeff Goldblum and Maggie Smith, many others.
For the cast of “Rejoice!” Ron has called upon the theatrical “A-Team” for this holiday presentation. Renowned choreographer Krisha Marcano, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Martha Graham Dance Company, Dance Theatre of Harlem, “Motown The Musical,” “Langston In Harlem,” Broadway’s “The Color Purple,” “Sweet Charity on Broadway,” Fosse First National Tour, Disney’s “Aida ,” to name a few.
Vocalist Jason McKinney has performed with numerous opera companies in the U.S. and in Europe. As a concert soloist, McKinney has been featured with the North Carolina Symphony, the Eugene Symphony, and has performed with critical acclaim in Europe, Mexico, the U.S. and Australia. He has performed at such prestigious venues as The Kennedy Center, The White House, The Semper Opera House in Dresden Germany, Sicily and Netherlands.
Karon Click is a versatile performer who sings traditional and contemporary blues, jazz and bluegrass, as well as American songbook standards. Click studied music at Wake Forest University. Her ensemble, “Karon Click and the Hot Licks,” entertains audiences around the Triad.
Diana Tuffin is a vocal stylist specializing in jazz, R&B, and gospel. She sings in commercial venues throughout the Triad and southeast, as well as in places of worship. A music educator, she is a vocal instructor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ Community Music School.
Ron Stacker has bundled this extraordinary cast with world class experience and local thespians from adolescents to seniors, to create the holiday experience you won’t want to miss. This is the season to “Rejoice!” and what better way to exult the reason for the season than to take the family to see this special production of “REJOICE!”
The Willingham Theatre is located at the Yadkin Cultural Center, 226 E. Main St, Yadkinville. To order tickets, visit YadkinArts.org or call 336-679-2941.
Ron Big “E” Eldridge is a Winston-Salem resident and aspiring freelance writer who frequently pens a Music Corner column about the local jazz and music scene.