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Medora musical coming to UJ

Emily Walter, left, sings with musician Chad Willow as part of “A Magical Medora Christmas.” Courtesy / Daniel Gannarelli

After eight consecutive sellout performances, "A Magical Medora Christmas" will take the stage at the Reiland Fine Arts Center of the University of Jamestown at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18.

When the show took to the road four years ago it would have been hard to imagine the tour would grow to 30 shows in 24 cities, said Daniel Gannarelli, annual giving director for the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation. This year the production is adding performances including in the Twin Cities for the first time, he said.

"The show is that good," Gannarelli said. "We don't shy away from the reason for the season, so you will hear a lot of traditional Christmas music favorites and some with a little Medora tint."

The collection of talent includes Emily Walter, Jared Mason, Job Christenson, Bill Sorensen and musician Chad Willow.

Mason and Christenson got their start with the Medora show and have gone on to perform on Broadway, while Walter hosts the Medora Gospel Brunch that attracts more than 9,500 people each summer and also performs on cruise ships.

Sorensen said he appears throughout the show using humor and magic and has a gift for reaching audiences, Gannarelli said.

"I cover the costume changes," Sorensen said.

The diversity of talent is what Sorensen said makes the show so popular and this year there are more individual performances along with the ensemble pieces, he said.

Christenson and Mason have great singing voices and Mason is considered one of the best performing yodelers in the country, Sorensen said. Walter has performed as Patsy Cline all around the world, he said.

Some of the crowd favorites are "One Wish," a Christmas song that Mason's wife wrote for him last year, Sorensen said. Walter's song, "God Help The Outcast," has also been popular, he said.

"The finale has also been well received," Sorensen said. "It's a combination of all the talents combined."

Tickets are $30 and available at Hugo's Marketplace or online at https://bit.ly/2KTcu9y.

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