A holiday hayride is one of many traditional Christmas activities, but Sagebrush Theatre will be welcoming something a little different — and a little warmer — with the Louisiana Hayride holiday concert this Monday at 7:30 p.m..
“The Louisiana Hayride show was a live radio show way back in the late 1940s and 1950s,” said Lori Risling, who started the travelling show with husband Gil. “What we’ve been doing for the last 10 years, paying tribute to that.”
The Louisiana Hayride features performers in character as musicians who would have been featured on the radio show of that era, such as Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson and Elvis Presley.
The show also features more recent stars who would have been inspired by the oldies, such as Canadian country music icon Shania Twain.
The Nov. 18 show in Kamloops will be the Christmas version of the Louisiana Hayride show, which means a special performance.
While there will still be traditional tribute artists singing the hit songs, they will also be performing Christmas songs for which the stars if yesteryear were known, Presley’s version of Blue Christmas and Crystal Gale’s version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
But the real surprise for the audience will be the chance to see the performers as they truly are, without the costume and historical persona attached.
According to Risling, that’s when they really get to shine, when they’re not constrained to having to sound like a particular performer.
“Everyone’s a top notch vocalist,” she said. “It’s absolutely amazing.”
There will be a mix of secular holiday songs with more traditional hymns, as well as performances of songs that are simply fun for the holidays, like Santa Baby
The Louisiana Hayride has visited Kamloops many times over the years and continues to be a popular show in the city. Risling said organizers and performers are happy to be back at Sagebrush Theatre after the last couple of shows detoured the cast and crew to the Coast Kamloops Hotel and Conference Centre while Sagebrush had its roof repaired.
“It’s always great being in a theatre,” she said.
For those with delicate ears, Risling made a point that the show always ensures carefully balanced audio that can be enjoyed without annoyance or discomfort.
Tickets are available online at Kamloops Live Box Office (kamloopslive.com) and will be available at the door if they don’t sell out in advance.