Arvada Center Blog

Arvada Center prepares for the holidays

Posted by Sarah Kolb on October 26th 2016 to Behind the Scenes,Center News

What happens when classic Christmas carols, the Vietnam War and an old-time variety show all share the Arvada Center stage?


It’s called I’ll Be Home for Christmas, and it’s the first world premiere musical produced by the Arvada Center. The cast and crew gathered yesterday to prepare for the brand new production of the musical, and rehearsals begin this week!



Set in 1969, the musical focuses on the Bright family as they prepare for their annual Christmas variety show, one of the most-watched and anticipated television events of the year. In the midst of rehearsals, they welcome their eldest son home from the war. A decorated hero, and former teen idol, Simon is challenged by his return to civilian life and the expectation and anticipation of performing again.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas is set in the hours leading up to and during the live TV broadcast, featuring rich costumes, great dance numbers and exciting new music along with many seasonal favorites. It’s a family friendly show that people of all ages will enjoy!

Original music and lyrics were written by the Center’s longtime musical director David Nehls. Kenn McLaughlin wrote the book. Gavin Mayer is directing, and Rod Lansberry is producing.

The historic setting – a throwback to variety shows of the 50’s and 60’s – was inspired by Nehls and McLaughlin’s nostalgic love of television from that era. They began playing with the idea in 2012, and have been doing writes – and re-writes – and more re-writes – for the past nine months. It mixes beloved holiday music with original tunes and choreography.


I’ll Be Home for Christmas Cast

Noah Racey – Dana Bright

Megan Van De Hey – Louise Bright

Jake Mendes – Simon Bright

Kim McClay – Maggie Bright

Andrew Diessner – Len

Sharon Kay White – Carol Marie

Darius Jordan Lee – Sandy

Sheryl McCallum – Ruby

Women’s Ensemble: Norrell Moore, Maddie Franke, Rae Case, Rachel Turner

Men’s Ensemble: Jean-Luc Cavnar, P. Tucker Worley, Benjamin Roeling, Darrell T. Joe

The musical opens November 18. Preview performances take place November 15 – 17, and it closes December 23. Tickets are on sale now!

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