Archive for December, 2010

Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga Produces Original, “Silent Christmas”

December 13, 2010

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

Directed by Garry Lee Posey

Music Direction by John Thomas Cecil

Stage Managed by Seth Wilson

Set Designed by Christy Gallo

Featuring: Marianna Allen (Short Attention Span 2010), Jamie Goodnight (Furry Tails), Ellen Poole (Deadlies), Ryan Laskowski (Mixed Media), Bill LaPoint, Morgan Robbins, & Kalena Wood

ETC also offers “Furry Tails… With a Twist,” a touring show for youth written by Jennifer Hickok DeFratis:

The premise of the play is simple.  Two actors show up at a school to perform three famous children’s stories.  However, within the first three minutes of showing up, their script gets out of order and the intern that typed it forgot to add page numbers.  Not only did this intern forget to add page numbers but she made some very interesting typos.  Improvising, the ways the actors skillfully know how to do, they start the show “as written” only to discover that certain props and costumes were not packed.  EEEK!  But the two actors survive, the audience assists with stories and lessons are learned about recycling, story structure and being kind to animals.  A hilarious hoot through to the end!

Listen to the Audio with Director, Garry Posey about “Silent Christmas,” the original production by ETC:

Choral Arts of Chattanooga performance at First Centenary United Methodist

December 12, 2010

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

Choral Arts of Chattanooga opens it’s 26th Season with a Christmas Concert on December 14th, 2010 at 7:30pm at First Centenary United Methodist Church.

Join Choral Arts for the holidays in a program of seasonal music, their first concert under the baton of Artistic Director Keith Scott Reas. Included are sacred selections, featuring the cantata “Rejoice, Emmanuel Shall Come” by Louis L. White, along with a fun holiday send-off, a la the King’s Singers.

Choral Arts of Chattanooga has made several recordings since it’s founding in 1985, one with Jazz legend Dave Brubeck.     Choral Art CD’s can be ordered from their website:

This is a collection of this jazz legend’s choral compositions and arrangements recorded over two evenings with Brubeck playing piano on six tracks with the Chattanooga Choral Artists, who he specifically requested to make this recording with, and the others tracks being his a cappella choral works. The emphasis is on Brubeck as composer, not pianist, and is an example of Brubeck’s passion, fueled no doubt by his belief that music is the definitive vehicle for emotional expression, transcending generations, musical genres and geographic and cultural borders. -(quoted from this website)

Choral Director, Dr. Keith Reas comes to this community chorus with 40 years of experience.    Here’s a brief summary of his work by

Keith Reas was appointed director of music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in August, 2009. Prior to that, he held similar positions at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C. (1991-2009), and in Phoenix, AZ, Rochester, NY and Richland, WA. He served as interim and acting artistic director for the Alexandria Choral Society (VA) from 2001-2004, and from 2006–2009 led the Women’s Chorus at The Catholic University of America in Washington.

Listen to the Story with Dr. Reas and chorus members, Sarah Glenn and Justin Hipp:

The Nutcracker Christmas Carol

December 10, 2010

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

The Nutcracker Christmas Carol is one of those holiday musicals that has it all – literally.  Author Rex Knowles mixed together classic holiday stories, songs, and ballet to produce a heart warming Christmas musical comedy ballet.  The show opens Friday, December 10th, at the Chattanooga State Community College Humanities Theater.  Performances are scheduled for December 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 7:30 pm and matinée performances December 12 and 19 at 2:30 pm.  The final performance on the 19th will feature real-time captioning for the deaf and hearing impaired.

The Nutcracker Christmas Carol was written by Rex Knowles with music by Sherry Landrum, Allan Ledford, and Knowles. Directed by Sherry Landrum and choreographed by Lindsay Fussell. Allan Ledford is Musical Director.  The

Bob Cratchit (John Thomas Cecil), Tiny Tim (Eric Phillips), and Caroline Cratchit (Maria Sager)

cast includes Jeffrey Parker as Charles Dickens, Rex Knowles as Ebenezer Scrooge, John Thomas Cecil in the dual roles of Bob Cratchit and the wealthy Dr. Stahlbaum, Maria Sager in the dual roles of Caroline Cratchit and Clara Stahlbaum, and Eric Phillips as both Tiny-Tim and Fritz Stahlbaum. Other cast members include: Fionna Battersby, Jared Bice, Maggie Bradshaw, Chris Defore, Stan Furlow, Lindsay Fussell, Jennelle Gilreath, Amy Henrichs, Karley Moon, Roman Penney, Brenda Schwab, and Jeremy Wilkins.

Listen to the story. 

Talle Johnson’s Former Students Keep His Legacy Alive

December 9, 2010

A well-known Chattanooga potter passed away earlier this year.  Now, ten months after Talle Johnson’s sudden, unexpected death, a group of his former students are keeping his legacy alive, and keeping his studio going.

Talle Johnson was a pottery teacher, a professional artist, and a studio owner.  His obituary describes him as one of the South’s exceptional potters, who won numerous design awards.

Five of his students have purchased the equipment, rented the space, and set up a limited liability corporation to keep Johnson’s place in business.  Marian Heintz is the LLC President.  Jaime Lacey is the Vice President.  I spoke to them recently, and we talked about what was so remarkable about Talle Johnson’s pottery, and how his former students are keeping his legacy alive.


The Chattanooga Pottery Studio has an event coming up:


You’re invited to a Kiln Opening

On Saturday, December 11th

From 11am to 5pm

Come buy pottery directly from the kiln, check out our gallery of crafts, enjoy refreshments, and do some holiday shopping.

Additional holiday gallery hours:

10-6 on Thursday 12/16 & Friday 12/17

and 10-5 on Saturday 12/18

Chattanooga Pottery, LLC is located at:

612 Chattanooga Valley Rd

Flintstone, GA 30725

(just south of St. Elmo)


Holiday Travel at the Chattanooga Airport

December 9, 2010

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

Holiday travel plans could also mean there is a flight in your future.  The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport hosts airlines with direct flights to some favorite destinations and connecting flights that can eventually take you just about anywhere in the world.  We spoke with the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority about what to expect if you are flying out of Chattanooga this holiday season.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) updates their website regularly to inform travelers what to expect at airport security checkpoints.   If you are planning to bring holiday gifts with you when you travel, TSA suggests that you not wrap the presents before your flight.   Even if you put the package in your checked luggage a TSA agent might unwrap it to check what is inside.  Plan to wrap those presents once you arrive at your destination or consider shipping them separately.

If you have questions or need assistance while at the Chattanooga Airport find an airport ambassador.  These volunteers can be identified by their Ask Me buttons.  Airport Ambassadors provide information about services at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport and points of interest around our region.

Listen to the story.

An Editor for Your Book

December 8, 2010

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

William Mathes found the perfect job to compliment his love of reading.  He became a book editor and works with authors to help them put the final polish on their work.  In a cluttered landscape with increasing competition for attention, agents and publishers are looking for something special, something that stands above the crowd.  A good editor can help an author put that into their work.


Listen to the story. 

How “Santa Claus Vs. The Devil” Came To America

December 8, 2010


The Mexican film, Santa Claus (1959)

On December 10th, Turner Classic Movies will air one of the strangest Christmas films ever made.  Created in 1959, it’s officially titled “Santa Claus,” but it’s better known as “Santa Claus Vs. The Devil.”  You might remember seeing it in Chattanooga theaters–it used get re-released every few years at Christmas.  More recently, you might remember seeing it lampooned on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The film was originally created in Mexico, and a promoter named K. Gordon Murray brought it to the United States and dubbed it into English.  Today, we will discover who K. Gordon Murray was, and why he brought this film to American children.  In the 1960’s, Murray was known as the “King of the Kiddie Matinee.”

Daniel Griffith joins us.  Griffith is a Chattanooga filmmaker and an expert on the subject.  Griffith has been working on a documentary about Murray’s life, called the Wonder World of K. Gordon Murray.


Listen to the story.


Daniel Griffith


Chattanooga From A to Z

December 7, 2010

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

The T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital Foundation is celebrating 25 years of service to the community with the release of a new alphabet book.  Chattanooga From A to Z features original art created by former and current patients at T. C. Thompson Children’s Hospital. The alphabet features places and things all around the Chattanooga area that are special to the children helping to create the book.  Proceeds from the sale of Chattanooga From A to Z will support programs at the children’s hospital.

The text of Chattanooga From A to Z is written by the Purple Lady and Friends.  Inspired by the landmarks and special events in Chattanooga’s history, the alphabet is informative, poetic and whimsical at times.  Each page of the alphabet book is rich with vibrant color and full-page illustrations of events and places around our region all created by children.

The book is available from the T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital Foundation, in the Erlanger Medical Center gift shop, and from local merchants.  Unum provided a grant to fund publication costs so 100% of each purchase goes directly to programs in support of the Children’s Hospital.  Call 423-778-6600 for more information on where you can obtain Chattanooga From A to Z.

Listen to the story.

The child singing the alphabet song used in this production is provided under Creative Commons and can be found on our media at the Internet Archive.

“A Christmas Story,” On-Stage at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre

December 7, 2010

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

A Classic American comedy lights up the Mainstage at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre from December 10-23, 2010.      CTC says:

A Co-Production for CTC’s Youth Theatre and MainStage seasons
Adapted for the stage by Philip Grecian, based on the original novel and screenplay by Jean Shepherd
A Tribute to the Original, Traditional, One-Hundred-Percent, Red-Blooded, Two-Fisted, All-American Christmas… A Holiday comedy for the entire Family. Ralphie has to convince his parents, and teachers that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect gift for the 1940’s. He even pleads his case before Santa Claus, all with the same response, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” All the elements from the beloved motion picture are here.

“A Christmas Story” is based on the short story, “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash,” by Jean Shepherd. The original hard-back cover from 1966 and the most recent book cover are shown below.

The house that the film, “A Christmas Story” made famous is open to the public for tours as the film has remained popular with American audiences all these years.

Listen to the Story with CTC director, Maria Chattin Carter and actor, John Meldorf:

Holiday Home Show on December 11, 2010

December 6, 2010

Come enjoy a little holiday cheer & shop for unique hand crafted art away from the traffic and frenzy of the malls.  Find that perfect present or indulge yourself with an original piece of art.

Saturday, December 11 · 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Brick House Studio
204 Hillcrest Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37411

Janet Campbell – Jewelry
Jeanie Holland – Mixed Media
T.R. Reed – Kinetic Sculpture
Thomas Spake – Blown Glass
Traci Batchelor Paden – Hand Painted Silk

For more information please contact Janet Campbell at or 423-314-0164.