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MATILIJA AUDITORIUM – It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Ojai Performing Arts Theater (OPAT) proudly announces “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” two concerts of your favorite holiday music this Thanksgiving weekend. Along with the singing of many classics, the captivating backstories of how each song was created will be given by hosts George Ball and Amanda McBroom. All proceeds from the concerts benefit the Nordhoff High School Music Department. What better way to kick off the holiday season than two performances of great music at Matilija Auditorium, Saturday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 1 at 2:00 p.m.

Executive Producer and OPAT CEO Joan Kemper said, “We had such a great reaction from two sold-out performances last year, we decided to produce another version this year to the Nordhoff Music Department. There’s lots of Christmas music left so, who knows what we may do next year!”

Hosts George Ball and Amanda McBroom will accompany five local but professional singers to delight the crowds. The cast includes Scott White, Betsy Randle, Anna Wagner, JB White, and Alexander Schottky. Directing the ensemble, writer of the musical arrangements, and leading the 10-piece professional orchestra is the head of the Nordhoff High music department Bill Wagner.

In between songs, the hosts will tell entertaining backstories about the song’s creation and how it got into the “Language of Christmas.” Peter Fox, local authorand director who conceived of the show last year, wrote this year’s script and researched the songs for their backstories. For example, did you know that Andy Williams had a hit record with this year’s title tune in not only 1971, but 2018 as well? It’s pretty amazing how holiday music can stand the test of time.

That’s just one of the delicious little tidbits featured in the upcoming holiday concert. As Amanda McBroom and George Ball host, ­“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,”  a fascinating and entertaining “behind the scenes” look at the history of some of our favorite holiday songs.

“What’s especially great for me,” said Kemper, “is that the first-rate singers from last year are all returning. And Ojai’s favorite leading man Scott White is joining the cast. Our superb hosts Amanda McBroom and George Ball, are on board again and will be showcasing their vocal talents with our orchestra, too. A great lineup of songs and talent to usher in the holiday season. I’m thrilled.”

The concert runs for just two performances at Matilija Auditorium, Saturday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 1, at 2:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $35 for general admission; $30 for seniors; and $25 for students under 18. Tickets will be available November 5 online at www.ojaitheater.org.