It is not every day that a former world-renowned Rockette and Broadway performer embarks on a mid-sized town to lead a regional production. Former Rockette, Eileen Grace, has recently settled in Roanoke to live and work during the next four weeks. Grace will serve as the director and choreographer for Mill Mountain Theatre’s final show of 2016, the ever-popular White Christmas. She will direct nearly two dozen cast members as they exhibit their exceptional talent on the Mill Mountain Theatre Trinkle Main Stage beginning November 30.
Grace directed and staged the wondrous Radio City Christmas Spectacular touring productions for nine years and her choreography credits include more than 40 musicals. Her television credits include the Grammy Awards, the Tony Awards, One Life to Live, the Today Show, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Kennedy Center Honors, the Late Show with David Letterman, and Oprah. “I never dreamt that I’d have this kind of career. It’s been an amazing ride,” Grace exclaimed.
White Christmas has enabled Grace to make a return trip to the Star City. She served as the choreographer for 42nd Street during Mill Mountain Theatre’s 2015 season. This year several local students will have the opportunity to work alongside the seasoned professional.
Four area students that have been involved with the Mill Mountain Theatre Conservatory program will be part of the youth ensemble for the upcoming production. Cave Spring High School junior, Caitlin Carter, most recently appeared as Cinderella in Mill Mountain Theatre’s summer production Into the Woods, Jr. A junior at Patrick Henry High School, Cathleen Turner, will also return to the Mill Mountain Theatre stage after performing in 42nd Street last year. Mason Peters, a fourth grader at Parkway Christian Academy, has performed locally in a variety of roles. Olivia Goodman, a Fincastle, Virginia, native and Central Academy Middle School student, will play the part of Susan Waverly as she represents the child’s perspective in the holiday classic. Most recently she performed as Little Red Riding Hood in the family-friendly show, Into the Woods Jr.
As White Christmas comes to a close on December 18, Mill Mountain Theatre will conclude the 2016 season with a two-night only concert entitled Holiday Music. The shows on December 20 and December 21 will delight audiences of all ages.
White Christmas runs November 30 through December 18. The shows will take place on the Trinkle Main Stage in the Wells Fargo Auditorium at Center in the Square.
Beverages can be purchased from the bar beginning at 6:30 p.m. and continuing through intermission. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the show beginning at 7:00 p.m. The Saturday and Sunday matinees will begin at 2:00 p.m. with doors opening at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets are available from the Center in the Square box office by calling (540) 342-5740 or online via Mill Mountain Theatre’s website at www.millmountain.org.
Mill Mountain Theater is grateful for the support from Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital; The Roanoke Star and TheRoanokeStar.com; and WDBJ Television.
Additional support for White Christmas is made possible in part by generous underwriting by Boxley; Corrugated Container Corp.; Member One Federal Credit Union; Avis Construction Co.; Catawba Capital Management; Varney, Inc.; Elk Hill Advisors, Inc.; Integrated Textile Solutions; Miller, Long & Associates; The Wadsworth Group at Morgan Stanley; Oakey’s Funeral Service & Crematory; Richfield Living; Roanoke Animal Hospital; Roanoke Gas Company/RGC Resources; and Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC.
Appreciation is also extended to the following sponsors for their support of the 2016 Music Series: Bank of Floyd; Jefferson Surgical Clinic; Skyline Capital Strategies, LLC; Virginia Varsity Transfer/Virginia Varsity Storage; Woods Rogers PLC; and Business Solutions, Inc.