A magical Christmas performance with some of history's favourite performers will be recreated in Swift Current tonight, as the Louisiana Hayride Christmas Show rolls into town.
The show is intended to emulate the original Louisiana hayride show, which had its heyday from the late 1940s to 1960. The radio and later television country originating in Shreveport, Louisiana, gave the stage to some of the biggest names in Western music. The Christmas twist brings a festive tone to the performances of some of the most recognized people in music history.
Gil Risling, the owner and operator of the show, has been putting it on for over 13 years in western Canada. His roles include performing as a musician, loading trailers, and everything in between.
“We're over 500 shows now in theatres all across Western Canada, and it's just been a real gift and a privilege to be able to do this,” Risling expressed. “We're pretty excited about bringing the Christmas show back to Swift Current, where we lived for many years, and looking forward to seeing all those friends and neighbours there.”
Some of the faces performing will hold up a mirror to past and current stars, including Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Crystal Gayle, Buddy Holly, Shania Twain and more.
“You'll get in the spirit of Christmas with the incredibly talented cast of the Louisiana Hayride Show,” said Risling. “They'll be singing all their big hits as well as favourite Christmas songs … It's just all in one giant show that just has a lot of fun and enthusiasm, and the folks will really enjoy it, and also the entertainers themselves."
Host and creator of the show, Lori Risling, will also provide the audience with fun and fascinating facts about the performer's real-life counterparts, with some Christmas magic. Her stories of yesteryear are intended to make the performance more enjoyable and contextualize the importance of the characters.
“It's touched the heartstrings and people enjoy it, come out and just get the feel that's coming off the stage and take that with them and just spread joy and happiness,” stated Risling. “That's our mantra and that's our mission statement; spreading joy and happiness.”
Tickets will be available at Pharmasave and at the door of the Palliser Pavilion in Kinetic Park. The evening of music, Christmas spirit, and reminiscing will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and is expected to run until 10 in the evening.
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