Haylofters present original production for the holidays

By Jennifer Eisenbart

Staff writer

The Haylofters’ biennial “Winter Cabaret” hit the stage Saturday at the Malt House Theater.

The hour-and-a-half original production is by T.C. DeWitt, a veteran of the Haylofters stage who now lives in California. Christina Heinzelmann coordinated the music for the show.

“He wrote this production for the Malt House stage,” said Haylofters Board President Jennie King. “It’s awesome. It’s a cute, uplifting, spirit-filled production.

“It puts you right in the mood for Christmas.”

The show incorporates traditional and modern holidays songs with a storyline about a family Christmas gathering. King said the family had to fly for the gathering, and mailed the Christmas presents in advance.

Come Christmas Eve, however, the packages have yet to arrive – and a blizzard has overtaken the area.

“They’ve just done a marvelous job with it,” King said. “And while you see a lot of the Haylofters vets on the stage, there’s new people, people who’ve been coming to the shows for 25 years, on stage for the first time.”

The show is not the only original production DeWitt has put forth for the Haylofters, though it is the first to see the stage. DeWitt’s original musical, “The Princess Knight,” will debut as the theater’s summer show in 2012.

“It’s a fairy tale with all original music,” King said. “T.C. is one of those rare original people with a quicksilver humor. He’s very artistic.”

The winter cabaret will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7 p.m., and Sunday’s matinee is 2 p.m. Cost for all tickets is $5, and the tickets can be purchased at The Grater Tater or online at www.thehaylofters.com.

The group is also collecting funds for the Transitional Living Center, which King said is a free-will offering.