WENATCHEE — The Holiday Spice variety show returns to the Numerica Performing Arts Center this year after cancellation in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Director Amy Edwards is back for a second time to helm the show that serves as a fundraiser for the PAC.
“It’s a scaled-back version of our normal show because we couldn’t have the entire big band on the stage. Glen Isaacson, who is the band director, has put together a smaller band — a kind of a jazz combo,” Edwards said. “We are typically around two hours and 15 minutes. We try to keep it under two hours. I think this year we will be two hours on the nose.”
The Holiday Spice show features:
- Performances from Fabulous Feet Dance Studio
- Wenatchee High School’s cast of the musical “Frozen”
- A performance by Stage Kids
- A magic performance by Jason Sims
Other featured performances include locals such as Edwards, Ernest Palmer, Jaime Donegan, Alesha Parrin, Domingo Gonzalez, Cody Laine, Dawn McCormick, the Holiday Spice Band directed by Glenn Isaacson and more.
There are 25 performers not including the dance and theater groups.
“We have been meeting for a couple of weeks. I just meet with the musicians and soloists. Glen meets with the band and we rehearse separately. It’s only the week before the show that we start putting things together with the entire group,” Edwards said. “We typically audition at the beginning of November. This year we weren’t sure if we could do the show as of September.”
Edwards said it was not until the third week of September that the Numerica PAC Board decided they could do the Festival of Trees and Holiday Spice.
The show is being put together quickly this year.
“Most years when we have the entire cast, we have three dress rehearsals,” she said. “This year, we do Act 1 on Monday, Act 2 on Tuesday, dress rehearsal on Wednesday and a weekend of shows. So it’s a pretty quick turnaround.”
Normally, the show is in December. Edwards said the decision was made to move it back before the week before Thanksgiving. So this year it is really early.
The hardest part about putting the show together is coming up with a variety of things.
“Being a voice teacher, it’s really easy for me to come up with 10 to 15 singers. But it’s hard to find a comedy act. Alex Haley, our emcee, usually does a comedy act. This is the first year we’ve had a magician,” Edwards said. “It is important to me to have a variety so it’s not just the same thing every year. As much as we love having the same performers every single year, it’s always nice for the audience to find a fresh face.”
The show features young and old. Tim and Emily Hulse are singing the song from “Polar Express.” Tim is 13 and Emily is 11. They are the youngest in a feature small group.
There is a dance quartet featuring 7-, 8-, and 9-year-olds.
“Glen and his fellow band members are in their 60s and 70s. I’m 35 and I’ll be singing something with one of my students,” Edwards said. “We have a variety of ages, which is the challenge when putting the show together because we don’t want to be all teenagers or all 30-year-old singers.”
There are many people in this valley who love to perform, she said.
“I want to give everyone the opportunity to perform at the PAC. That is a big dream for a lot of people. It’s hard for me to say no when people ask if they can do it,” Edwards said.