Clara Claus, Santa Claus, and "one moose" were among characters featured in the recent
(Sun., Dec. 4, 2016) "Winter Wonderland" concert/program at the Downers Grove Public Library, courtesy of several Grove Players members. With their participation, Jan Lown, Dave Callaghan, and Joyce and Tony Tumea not only contributed to a fun program, they also represented Grove Players and raised community awareness concerning the level of talent to be found in the group. Photo courtesy of Tom Ewing.
This free, family-oriented program was co-sponsored by the Downers Grove Music Club (DGMC) and the library, which helped publicize it in its official newsletter. Despite the blizzard that day, which kept some people away, the turnout was still more than respectable.
As part of it, the fabulous Jan Lown appeared as Clara Claus, with super-funny Dave Callaghan as her spouse, Santa. They made a grand entrance, distributed candy canes, and bantered with a couple of elves for the audience's amusement. Jan also sang one of Joyce's original songs, ("Clara Claus") with style and verve, rating her own trio of backup singers on the chorus. She also joined in leading the audience singalong at the end of the program, as did Dave, Tony and Joyce.
Tony's big moment was a "comedic cameo" as "one moose" in the "Super-Nice Snow Queen" song, (also written by Joyce). The Super Nice Snow Queen travels in a sleigh of carved ice, "pulled by one moose (Tony's cue to stand and point to himself in moose costume) or two." Naturally, Tony made the most of his moment in the spotlight!
Joyce was the writer and producer of the program, at the request of the DGMC and library, having done a similar one for the DGMC in the past. She also narrated in the guise of a storyteller character. The program featured some of her original Christmas/winter songs, along with traditional ones, and included singers from the DGMC, West Towns Chorus, and Downers Grove Choral Society, as well. Other characters involved included "Jolly Joe, the Gingerbread Man," "Father Winter," and "The Grouch of the Grove."
Pictures of the event are available for viewing on the DGMC website, www.downersgrovemusicclub.org, in the photo gallery section for December 4, under "Quick Links" on the right of the page.