Alabama Shakespeare Festival kicks off their Christmas festivities

 

 

By BRIAN HODGE

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival held their annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on Saturday, November 18. The event included  festival atmosphere with Christmas carolers, carriage rides, and crafts for young children. Actors from ASF assisted guests as they tried on masks, hats and costumes from the trunks at the costume department.

Carolers (L-R) Katie Fanning, Woodrow Proctor, Colin Wulff, and Lara Treacy strolled around the park singing songs of the seasons to entertain guests.
Photo: Brian Hodge

The event was a kickoff for a Christmas classic at ASF, the annual production of A Christmas Carol. ASF’s Associate Director, Nancy Rominger directs this year’s production and has brought along an all-star cast of ASF favorite faces – including Jacqueline Petroccia (Always… Patsy Cline) and Fredena Williams (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast) who make their first appearance in ASF’s A Christmas Carol. Once again, ASF will partner with the Montgomery Humane Society to feature dogs up for adoption as part of the production.    Returning in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge is ASF favorite Rodney Clark. New to the role of Charles Dickens is David Schmittou, who was recently seen on ASF stages as Mr. Banks in Disney’s Mary Poppins.

New hotel coming to downtown Montgomery

 

 

Staff Report

Sys-Con, LLC announced today the renovation of historic long-vacant, nine-story Hilltop Arms Apartments building into a modern upscale boutique hotel in downtown Montgomery, AL. The new hotel, Hilltop Suites & Spa, will feature 80 suite hotel rooms, over 6,000 square feet of spacious meeting and event areas, and numerous bars and restaurants. One of the most unique features of the hotel will be the roof top bar and lounge that overlooks the breathtaking views of downtown Montgomery and Alabama River. Construction will start in spring of 2018 on the Hilltop Suites & Spa and intended to complete by the fall 2019.

Sys-Con, LLC plans to be heavily involved with the revival plan of the Five Points area in Montgomery with a possibility of investing over 15 million dollars, some of which has already been invested in the acquisition of approximately 5 acres between Montgomery Street, Clayton Street and Goldthwaite Street. There are plans in the works for the possibility of new multi-use spaces that includes shops, grocery, residential and new other projects to follow. Hilltop Suites & Spa is a pivotal component of the reviving the Five Point area which Sys-Con, LLC hopes to be branded as a new urban dining and entertainment district in down town Montgomery.

“We are excited to announce this project with City of Montgomery. The announcement of Hilltop Suites & Spa, not only expands our business in the prefecture, it also highlights our new development strategy and strong management capabilities, as well as, our commitment to Montgomery,” said Sung Do Kim, President and CEO of Sys-Con, LLC.

Sys-Con, LLC recognizes Montgomery as the home base of their business with the opportunities for new business with a great community. The acquisition of Hilltop Suites & Spa is a part of their continued investment in the community. With the company’s extensive experience in the industrial construction, Sys-Con, LLC has worked closely with the city of Montgomery on the revitalization plan of Five Point area, as well as, the surrounding historic district. The revitalization effort underway and look forward to the economic growth in the area.

Sys-Con, LLC is a leading General Contractor that has been in business since 2002 whom has systematically and successfully constructed in many industrial plants and manufactures throughout South Region of United States. Sys-Con, LLC draws on its experienced team of construction, building maintenance, factory maintenance, factory automation and property management to offer the full service to client to comprehensive and efficient operation of their business. Sys-Con, LLC received the ENR 400 awarded in 2017 after the successful completion of Hankook Tire Manufacture project in Clarksville, TN. Currently, Sys-Con, LLC has a General Contractor license in the state of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi and Mexico. Each of their project has been diversified by geography and type of business as new construction project or expansion construction project. For more information, please visit www.sys-conllc.com

“A Christmas Carol” returns with some new surprises and ASF Favorites

 

 

Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s A Christmas Carol is a heart-warming, holiday, must-see that will get you into the swing of the season with Scrooge’s search for redemption and a spectacular, magical evening of ghosts, spirits, festivity and goodwill. “God Bless Us, Every One!”

A Christmas Carol begins preview performances November 19. Ticket prices start at $30. Tickets may be purchased by calling 800.841.4273, visiting online at www.asf.net or at the ASF box office located at 1 Festival Drive in the heart of Montgomery’s beautiful Blount Cultural Park.

The Montgomery Advertiser calls ASF’s production of A Christmas Carol “a superb production that does for us what it took four ghosts to do for Scrooge — transforming thoughts of money, the hectic holiday schedules and unrelenting commercialism into a reawakening of our love for and appreciation of the true wonders of Christmas.”

Adapted for the stage by former ASF producing artistic director Geoffrey Sherman, the play utilizes the character of Dickens who literally brings the performance to magical life along with spectacular special effects, elaborate period costumes and a magnificent set replicating nineteenth-century London.

ASF’s Associate Director, Nancy Rominger directs this year’s production and has brought along an all-star cast of ASF favorite faces – including Jacqueline Petroccia (Always… Patsy Cline) and Fredena Williams (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast) making their debut in ASF’s A Christmas Carol. Once again, ASF will partner with the Montgomery Humane Society to feature a special canine guest star in each production – a dog currently up for adoption, which the audience has the opportunity to meet in the lobby during intermission.

Local churches will also be represented on ASF’s Festival stage as local pastors make guest appearances in the role of “Vicar”. This special role will be filled by six community clergy members including: Rev. Tim Meadows (Woodland United Methodist Church), Rev. E. Baxter Morris (First Baptist Church), Rev. Larry Bryars (Frazer United Methodist Church), Rev. Dr. Brian Miller (Algersgate United Methodist Church), Rev. Mark E. Waldo, Jr. (St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church), Rev. Neil Epler (Frazer United Methodist Church).

Returning in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge is ASF favorite Rodney Clark. New to the role of Charles Dickens is David Schmittou, who was recently seen on ASF stages as Mr. Banks in Disney’s Mary Poppins.

The Cast includes Noelia Antweiler (Belle, Charlotte, Fred’s wife), Brik Berkes (Marley, Topper), James Bowen (Charity Man, Christmas Present), Andrew Seth Bridges (Fred, Fezziwig guest), Josh Cahn (Stage Manager, Street Person, Milkman), Katie Fanning (Caroler, Fezziwig Guest), Ithamar Francois (Caroler, Fezziwig Guest), Briat Ott (Street Person, Belle’s Husband), Jaqueline Petroccia (Mrs. Cratchit, Fezziwig Guest), Woodrow Proctor, (Caroler, Young Scrooge, Christmas Future), Collin M. Purcell (Street person, Fezziwig Guest), Billy Sharpe (Bob Cratchit, Fezziwig Guest), Lara Treacy (Caroler, Fred’s Party Guest), Fredena J. Williams (Mrs. Fezziwig, Mrs. Dilber), Lilly Wilton (Christmas Past, Shop Girl), and Colin Wulff (Caroler, Fezziwig Guest).

Sam Bolger (Forest Avenue Academic Magnet) and Matthew Craymer (Bear Exploration Center) will alternate in the role of Tiny Tim.

Other young local talent featured in the production include Charlie Hill (Montgomery Academy), Lance Perkowski (Maxwell Elementary School), Brooklyn Norstedt, Claire Poundstone (Montgomery Academy), Erin Mitchell, Josie Stough (Baldwin Arts Magnet), Vinny Figiera (Blount Elementary), Rowan Osborne (Holy Cross Episcopal School), Amia Curry (Wilson Elementary) and Angelina Xu Dong (Dean Road Elementary-Auburn).

The artistic team includes Paul Wonsek (set design), Tom Rodman (lighting design), Elizabeth Novak (costume design) and Brett Rominger (sound design). Hannah-Jean Farris serves as the stage manager.

In conjunction with A Christmas Carol, the 4th Annual ASF Tree Lighting will kick off the production on the afternoon of Saturday, November 18th (4-6 p.m.) with a free public tree-lighting event featuring live music, Dickens carolers, free hot chocolate and treats, free carriage rides in the park and visits with Santa. The ASF Tree Lighting is sponsored by Alexander Pediatrics, Baptist Health and TrueSouth Properties/Buchanan Forest Management with additional support by Country Financial and the Alabama AARP. All are welcome!