Cast & Crew
Partridge / Bobby Colly: Grant Hatton
Narrator 1 / Nana Hen / Mrs. Partridge: Kell Christie
Narrator 2 / Mr. Partridge: Joe Vescovo
Mr. Turtle Dove / Papa Colly: Neal Figueroa
Mrs. Turtle Dove / Baby Poule / Cindy Colly: Ashley Bugg Brown
Madame Hen / Mama Colly: LaVita Brooks
Musician: Sumner Jenkins
Writer: Marques Brown
Producer: Robert Arnold
Director: Marques Brown
Announcer: Tom Badgett
Artist: Amy Hutcheson
I’m not going to lie to you folks… when Bob first asked me to consider a live, family-oriented holiday show for this year’s Light Festival at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, I rolled my eyes a bit. It’s not that I don’t love children’s stories; I’ve made the larger part of my career retelling them in one way or another. It’s not that I don’t like live performance; in fact, I love it! It’s not that I don’t love collaboration with other artistic foundations, either; that has become one of the most important elements of Chatterbox’s existence. I guess it comes down to the Christmas thing.
No, I am not one of those Christmas-hating Scrooges, but I do have to admit that, while tradition is an important element to the holidays, and I am all for adapting classic folklore and literature into new and interesting pieces, what I did not want to do is to re-write, re-imagine, combine, or otherwise recycle A Christmas Carol, the Grinch, Rudolph, or Frosty. The challenge in front of me was to try and create something that had its own value, and while it should be reminiscent of holiday tradition, it should be relevant to all people, regardless of which miracle they choose to remember in the heart of winter.
Of course, the idea to populate this story with nothing but feathered friends is not all that original, considering it comes from a song that is over 230 years old. But our Partridge is a unique holiday hero in that he is not in need of reforming from “greedy into giving,” nor is he an “outcast making a difference.” No, this partridge is suffering from a far simpler conflict, and it is one that we all suffer from around this time of year: What to get? Where to find the time? How to be the best darn jolly gift-giver there is?
This year being what it is, I challenge all of us to learn a little something from these birds, and to remember the true meaning of the season. By that, I don’t mean any one particular miracle that we may or may not celebrate as a part of our December traditions, but the one miracle that ties all of us together. The miracle that we witness when in our reaching out, helping, and sharing, we find that the enjoyment of the whole experience is far greater than the little acts of shopping, saving, and otherwise stressing. So… eat some cookies, sing some songs, and appreciate one another, regardless of how many bells and rattles you may have under your spruce tree. And, oh yes — enjoy the show.