Santa Claus is coming to town, and so is “The Magical Medora Christmas Show.”
For the fifth year, the Magic of Medora features six popular performers, with many years of experience at Medora’s Burning Hills Amphitheater, presenting a family-style holiday extravaganza 30 times in 23 communities in four states, including 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19 at the Park Rapids High School auditorium.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support for the Magical Medora Christmas,” said producer Bill Sorensen. “We can’t wait to bring good, old-fashioned entertainment back across the four-state area.”
It was Sorensen, recently retired as host of the Medora Musical, who in 2014 created a Christmas show for Medora’s Cowboy Christmas and in 2015 acted on a dream of taking a Medora-style show on the road during the holiday season.
As in the past, Sorensen will host this year’s show, called “Home for Christmas.” Returning to perform with him are former Medora Musical hosts Emily Walter, Job Christenson and Chad Willow, longtime bandleader at the Medora Musical.
Walter, known as “The Queen of the West,” was host of the Medora Musical from 2010-15, and for four years has hosted the popular Medora Gospel Brunch. She is one of a select group approved by the Patsy Cline Estate to portray Patsy Cline. Walter was the lead vocalist in the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command Band and served in the “Desert Band” during Desert Shield/Storm. She has worked with such stars as Bob Hope, Lee Greenwood and John Denver. She lives in Bismarck, N.D.
Actor, singer, dancer and playwright Job Christenson, a native of Grand Forks, has hosted the Medora Musical and starred on Broadway in “Cats,” “Ragtime” and “JCS,” among others.
“Job is one of the finest singers North Dakota has ever produced,” said Curt Wollan, long-time producer of the Medora Musical.
Sorensen served as co-host of the Medora Musical for seven years and has been the featured speaker in the Medora Gospel Brunch for four years. As a magician, juggler and public speaker, he has performed over 5,000 shows nationwide. He also served as mayor of Bismarck and state representative.
Minnesotan Chad Willow joined the Magical Medora Christmas Tour in 2017 as pianist, singer, and banjo player. “As associate musical director of the show and leader of the Coal Diggers band for 12 Medora Musical season, I have experienced incredible adventures from my time in this little town tucked away in the North Dakota Badlands,” he says. He produced and recorded a vocal bluegrass record, entitled “Scarecrow,” with musicians from the Medora Musical bandstand stage.
This year, Willow’s wife, Kimberly, a Burning Hills Singer from 2012-6, joins the Magical Medora Christmas cast. Recently, Kim plays the role of Beverly in the hit Church Basement Ladies series in both national tours and regional theatres around the country.
Also new to this year’s show is Travis Smith, a composer and arranger who runs his own music production company. Smith writes children’s shows and created a full-scale musical “Steeple People: A Southern Gospel Comedy.” He is a multi-instrumentalist and has musically directed over a hundred professional theatre productions.
Tickets are $30 and are available now at www.medora.com. Tickets are also at the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.
Forum Communications, TTT Ranch, Vic and Ethelyn Uttke and the TRMF are sponsoring the tour.