'Belles' to ring in holiday season

Victoria Schehl (from left), Robb Smith, Kay Gross and Karen Brotherton appear in the Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre production of Christmas Belles.

Mix a Santa with a kidney stone, a church Christmas play with a cast stricken by food poisoning, a shepherd with a little red wagon, Elvis and a long-kept family secret, and you have Christmas Belles.


It’s a comedy that cast members promise will deliver the laughs.

“We still laugh at the lines at rehearsals, and we’ve heard them over and over,” said Debbie Fryer, who plays Geneva Musgrove, the longtime director of the church Christmas pageant.

This year, however, she’s been ousted by Honey Raye Futrell, a woman with a checkered past who is trying to make up for her wayward ways, and Miss Geneva is not really happy about it all.

“This is just a bunch of fun,” said Kay Gross, who plays Twink Futrell, recently jailed after she almost burned down the town trying to get back at her boyfriend, who had jilted her.

While some audience members might not be in the Christmas spirit quite so early in November when the production opens, cast members think the play is a good way to usher in the holiday season.

“I think it will get people into the spirit of the season,” said Fryer.

Even with all the laughs, there are some unexpected twists to bring that warm and fuzzy holiday feeling.

“There are a lot of tender moments,” Gross said.

Christmas Belles will be presented for three weekends at Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre, Nov. 11-12, 18-19 and Dec. 2-3. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. and the play is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 for civilians, $38 for seniors (ages 65 and older), retirees, Department of the Army civilian employees, active duty military E7 and above; $30 for active duty military E6 and below; and $25 for the show only.

For reservations, call (706) 793-8552.