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Ohio Northern to present ‘The ONU Holiday Spectacular’

Nov 6, 2015

Ohio Northern University’s Freed Center for the Performing Arts presents the 21st annual “ONU Holiday Spectacular” from Thursday, Nov. 19, to Saturday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. There will be a matinee performance on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 2 p.m.

In addition, there will be performances at the Civic and Convention Center in Lima, Ohio, on Friday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 5, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 6, at 2 p.m.

The show is underwritten in part by the DeBow and Catherine Freed Endowment for the Arts and Kewpee Hamburgers. Marking more than two decades of sponsorship, Harry and Myrna Shutt, the owners of Kewpee Hamburgers, have underwritten “The ONU Holiday Spectacular” since its inception in 1994. They also have funded the expense of moving the performance from Ada to Lima. The Shutts have always believed that the holiday show should be affordable for all families and have kept the price at $5 for the Lima performances.

Start off the holiday season with festive carols, lavish sets, ballerinas, the ever-popular toy soldiers, the man in red himself, Santa Claus, and a few surprises at this year’s “Holiday Spectacular.” The holiday mystery centers on the misadventures of Trixel, a trouble-making elf who steals Santa’s magic compass prior to Christmas Eve. This sends Mrs. Claus and Tinsel the elf on a journey to find the invaluable tool so that Santa can deliver his gifts. There will be plenty of song, dance and humor along the way.

This year, the cast consists of more than 40 students and 19 area children. Santa Claus is played by Shawn Stevens, a junior music education major from Lima, Ohio. Mrs. Claus will be played by Sarah Kuene, a senior musical theatre major from Perrysburg, Ohio. Tinsel will be played by Riley Alexander, a sophomore musical theatre major from Ottawa, Ohio, and Trixel will be played by Alie Campbell, a freshman musical theatre and international theatre major from Hamilton, Va. The Angel will be played Madeline Chitty, a senior musical theatre major from Charleston, S.C. Frosty is Nate Kiliany, a sophomore musical theatre major from Monaca, Pa. The Polar Bear is played by Patrick Plucinsky, a senior musical theatre major from Solon, Ohio.

The performance is under the direction of Kirsten Osbun-Manley, resident artist in music and co-director of the musical theatre program at ONU. Gina Wiley, artistic director and owner of The Dancer By Gina in Delphos, Ohio, will serve as choreographer, and Michael Jordan will serve as ONU’s musical director.

All tickets for the Lima performances are for general-admission seating and are available for $5 at all Kewpee locations and at the Freed Center.

Tickets for the Freed Center performances are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors, $5 for children 12 and under, $10 for ONU faculty and staff and $5 for students. The Freed Center box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone orders are accepted with American Express, MasterCard, VISA or Discover by calling 419-772-1900. Tickets also are available online at