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    Bringing a New York Christmas to Alberta

    Artistic Director Morris Ertman (centre) shares a lighter moment with Aaron Krogman and Cassia Schramm during rehearsals for "The Gifts of the Magi."

    ROSEBUD – The small hamlet of Rosebud is taking a bite out of the “Big Apple” for its annual Christmas show.

    The Rosebud Opera House stage will be fully decked out with the sights and sounds of old New York as it hosts the vaudeville-style musical “The Gifts of the Magi” based on the classic Christmas story by O. Henry.

    The story follows the young, newly married couple Jim and Della Dillingham, who are out of work and broke during Christmas. The pair can barely afford to keep their one-room apartment, let alone purchase holiday gifts.

    “The Gifts of the Magi” explores the challenges that Jim and Della face as they secretly secure the ideal Christmas gift for each other. Along the way they meet the jovial Soapy, a homeless man who wants nothing more than the warmth and security of a jail cell for Christmas, and Willy, a street newspaper vendor who sees deeper than the headlines she sells.

    “The Gifts of the Magi” is said to gently remind the audience that the power of love is the enduring strength of the human spirit.

    “Christmas is a time for optimism. We need to believe that there is good in the world,” said Artistic Director Morris Ertman. “We need to be able to believe that love can get us through the darkest of times.

    “Out of work and penniless? Love will sustain you.That in a nutshell, is the hope in almost every classic Christmas story.”

    Ertman said that O. Henry certainly brings that message to this story, and that the New York setting is both romantic and heartless, giving this tale a “breadth of expression on our rural Rosebud stage that is unusual, challenging and absolutely delightful.”

    “The Gifts of the Magi” is a musical story for the anyone in the family to enjoy, that is said to both tickle the funny bone and touch the heart.

    Aaron Krogman and Cassia Schramm will star as Jim and Della Dillingham, with Mike Thiessen as Soapy and Natalie Gauthier as Willy. Joel Stephanson will appear as City Him and Laura Gillespie will portray City Her.

    Rosebud’s holiday production will run from Nov. 4 until Dec. 23. For tickets and show times call HYPERLINK “tel:1-800-267-7553″1-800-267-7553 or visit www.rosebudtheatre.com