Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Christmas to remember

A Thomas Road Christmas Carol — This year marks the 40th anniversary of TRBC’s Virginia Christmas Spectacular. This year’s performance, starring Charles Billingsley as Ebenezer Scruggs, revisits scenes from past performances. Proceeds from this year’s Spectacular will benefit Gleaning for the World and food banks around Lynchburg.

With more than 260,000 Christmas lights, Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC) is inviting audiences to come celebrate its 40th anniversary of the holiday production, the Virginia Christmas Spectacular.

More than 40,000 people attend this holiday tradition every year, experiencing the brilliance of Christmas lights in the Living Christmas Tree, new and old Christmas carols, and the story of one of the most significant events in history.

This year’s production is called “A Thomas Road Christmas Carol,” a spinoff of the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol.” The tale revolves around a grumpy middle-aged man named Ebenezer Scruggs who finds himself stressed and disappointed with his life and nothing being the way he expected it to be. In his search for truth and in honor of the show’s 40th anniversary, Scruggs and the audience revisit years of past Christmas Spectacular memories.

“(It is) a common story to find yourself not having accomplished any of your dreams or things have not turned out the way you thought they would,” production director Lorie Marsh said.

Charles Billingsley, executive producer and this year’s lead role, said that the best part of doing the show is hearing stories from people e-mailing and calling about how it changed their lives.

“Being able to tell the story in a new way each year, and doing something that we pray will have an impact on people’s lives is a great privilege,” Marsh said.

This year, TRBC is teaming up with Gleaning for the World, an organization dedicated to reaching poverty-stricken people around the world, and local food banks by donating the shows’ proceeds to help provide food for the families suffering from hunger in Lynchburg, part of the Feeding Our Neighbors project.

The Virginia Christmas Spectacular has one weekend of performances left to dazzle audiences and spread the hope of Christmas. TRBC is also offering a Christmas Dinner Buffet an hour and a half before the Friday and Saturday shows for an additional cost. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit new.trbc.org/events or call 888-244-2178.

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