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November 21, 2019

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A review: All in all, Saturday's performance was superb

It was a fabulous ONU Holiday Spectacular performance

Story and photos by Monty Siekerman
Light snow fell as theatre-goers entered the Freed Center on Saturday afternoon, giving a true holiday spirit to a fabulous ONU Holiday Spectacular performance.

A full house of patrons smiled and clapped throughout the 90-minute show.


The four local performances are over, but tickets can be purchased at the Freed Center and Lima Civic Center box offices and at Kewpee Restaurants for the shows in Lima on Friday, Dec. 2, through Sunday, Dec. 4. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 2; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3; and 2 p.m. on Dec. 4.

Saturday's Ada show, playing to a full house as usual, saw continuous smiles on the faces of the audience, young and old. Kids were especially excited to see Santa's entrance.

This is the 26th annual production of this spectacular show, drawing more than 200,00 people to see it since it first began

Why so popular every year?

The production appeals to people of all ages. The storyline, songs, costumes, set, and choreography are changed a little every year. There are religious scenes (O Holy Night) and secular ones  (Santa Baby). And, tickets are reasonably priced so that families can attend...thanks to generous donations from Kewpee Hamburgers, the Freed Endowment, and others.

Kudos to the costume designers (there are many on actors/singers on stage, many changes of costumes), and to set designers (many, many sets), and stage managers who handle it all smoothly.

Sound and lighting people are commended as well for handling their duties without a hitch.

Choreography is a challenge with fast moving scenes, some with numerous actors, some as young as kindergarten and first grade. Impressive.

The music was professionally presented by 21-member orchestra.

Much, much credit goes to Director Kirsten Osbun-Manley for flawlessly bringing this all together.

All in all, Saturday's performance was superb.

As patrons entered the Freed Center they were greeted by the music of bellringers. A giant Christmas tree stood in the center of the lobby.

Afterwards, candy canes were handed out to everyone. The leads (including Mr. and Mrs. Claus, of course) were available in the lobby for picture-taking.


• Children preparing to go on stage for the ONU Holiday Spectacular.
• Candy canes for everyone
• Bellringers
• Happy holidays group photo with Santa
• Giant tree adorns lobby