It#8217;s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2006

Lights, camera, action, now sing!

Monday night I was asked by two churches, Macedonia AME and East End Baptist, to attend dress rehearsals for Christmas programs.

When I attended East End’s rehearsal, I was deeply impressed by the performance of one of its members, Suffolk Police Chief William Freeman. There is another side to this man that I found hard to believe. The man can really act.

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The name of this Christmas musical drama is Once Upon A Midnight Clear. The drama takes place from Jesus’ birth and beyond and Freeman plays the part of King Herod. There will be two performances presented, one on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. and the other on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 5:30 p.m.

Two others, Darryll Lewis and Orlando Turntine, will play the role of Joseph one night each; Candace Croston will play Mary; infant Devann Alexander Lewis will play the part of baby Jesus; and Malik Sellers will play Jesus at two years old.

The East End Praise Dance group is included and my personal dance instructor, Woodrow Hyman Jr., and his sister Kaye Jefferson, will be performing a special religious dance routine. The Voices of Praise Adult Choir will render music. The colorful costumes, done by various members of the church, the sound system and lighting, will bring biblical days to the present. About 60 East End members are included in the play.

The director of the play is Celestine Croston, Karen D. Croston is minister of Music and Dr. Mark Croston Sr. is senior pastor.

East End Baptist Church is located at 523 E. Washington St.

When I traveled to Macedonia AME, at 127 Pine St., the choir was almost closing out its musical dress rehearsal rendition of Jesus, There’s Just Something About That Name.

This powerful 40-minute presentation combines narration-optional drama, several heart-warming hymns, and favorites, along with moving new songs with the meaning that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

The program will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17.

Mary Becker is minister of music and the Rev. Charles L. Harvin Sr. is senior pastor.

Lights at the Beach display

is taking on a musical theme

I also recommend that you treat the children in your family, or yourself, to the Holiday Lights at the Beach on the boardwalk at Virginia Beach. This light display followed one of my favorite Christmas songs, The 12 Days of Christmas.

I attended the event two weeks ago with my family and a friend, but I was completely unaware of what the display symbolized until we were almost at the end of the event and could see lights at a distance spelling out the 12 days of Christmas. The trail of lights along the boardwalk demonstrated what the song included. My favorite displays were the 10 Lords a-leaping and the 12 drummers drumming.

This display began on Nov. 17 and will end on Jan. 1. It only costs $9 a car from Monday-Thursday and $10 from Friday-Sunday, and on holidays that include Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Passengers on buses can attend at a price of $40 per bus.

You enter the show at 2nd Street and the boardwalk off Atlantic Avenue. At the entrance you will receive free sandwich coupons from Chick-fil-a, the sponsor of the event, a Christmas carol CD that plays Christmas music while you are driving along the pathway of lights, and a Holiday Lights At the Beach magazine, that includes valuable food coupons, recipes and human interest stories.

With this display you really get your money’s worth, including the “oohs” and “aahs” coming from the mouths of not only babes viewing the display with you, but also from adult passengers.

Wall is a former News-Herald reporter and regular contributor to the Town Square page.