Writer / Leia Barker
The heartfelt joy of the holiday season takes the stage in style at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre as Santa and his friends celebrate the 24th annual production of “A Beef & Boards Christmas,” which opened November 25.
“I am giddy when November rolls around and we start rehearsals,” said Deb Wims, who co-hosts the show with Kenny Shepard. “Sometimes I have to take a moment to appreciate how lucky I am to have the opportunity to do this every year!”
Shepard, a Fishers resident, has been a part of the show since 1994. Wims joined the cast two years later. This is a particularly sentimental year for Wims, who is co-hosting the show with Shepard one last time before moving out-of-state with her family.
“I was hired in 1996 as one of the dancers, ”Wims exclaimed. “I was thrilled. I hadn’t done a Christmas show in several years and, being crazy about Christmas, I couldn’t wait. I loved that it was a revue/variety style show, filled with classic Christmas songs that I’d been singing since I was a kid. It was right up my alley.”
Since then, she’s taken just three years off when she had her children. Together, she and Kenny have played everything from romantic partners to rag dolls.
“I will miss my friends, especially Kenny Shepard, the most,” she said. “Sharing the stage with him year after year makes this show so special. He is so dear to me. The combination of us together on the stage makes it magical.”
“Plain and simple, Deb is the heart of Beef & Boards, especially the Christmas show,” Shepard said. “Deb and I know each other so well, and especially in the Christmas show, we can pick up where the other leaves off.”
This year’s quartet of principal singers welcomes back Peter Scharbrough, Betsy Norton and Cara Statham Serber from the 2015 production. Kyle Durbin rounds out the quartet, returning to the show after an eight-year absence.
The Beef & Boards Orchestra, led by musical director Kristy Templet, has its own time in the spotlight as it is featured onstage, playing throughout the production.
A tribute to the military honors all who have served, and children will delight to tell Santa their most special wishes when they have the opportunity to meet him during intermission.
A Beef & Boards Christmas is on stage for 34 performances through December 23 in the intimate space of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Tickets range from $41 to $66 and include Chef Odell Ward’s holiday buffet and select beverages. Parking is always free.
For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays.
For more information, including the complete show schedule, please visit www.beefandboards.com.