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Rockford Tradition 'Hometown Holiday' Keeps The Shine On The Tinsel

It may not look like a “winter wonderland” in northern Illinois right now, but it will SOUND like one this weekend in downtown Rockford. That’s because J.R. Sullivan’s 20th production of his “Hometown Holiday” variety show hits the stage at the Nordlof Center. 

One of the themes this time around is an unhappy Santa: he's tired of night-flying in his sleigh, he's sick of gluten-free cookies, and he's just not feeling the magic any more. Not so for Hometown Holiday founder J.R. Sullivan, who is still feeling the spirit more than two decades after he put together the first show. 

Sullivan counts on long-time cast members to bring it all together on stage. Jazz violinist Randy Sabien has been a cast member for just about all of the twenty shows. Actors Linda Abronski and Steve Vrtol are also Hometown Holiday institutions. Shawn Wallace has been playing piano in the show since 2002, and singer Megon McDonough, a founding member of "The Four Bitchin' Babes," lends her voice to the production again. Rounding out this year's cast are Hometown Holiday veterans Jeff Christian,Marcella Rose Sciotto, and Daniel Patrick Sullivan (yep, J.R.'s brother).

J.R. Sullivan is thrilled with two new additions to the show this year: Chicago-based actor and choreographer Rhett Guter and Rockford native singer/actor E. Faye Butler.  

Hometown Holiday performances are December 11th and 12th at 7:30 pm and Sunday the 13th at 4:00 pm. Tickets will be available at the door.

E. Faye Butler has a special holiday message for the people of Rockford.

WNIJ is a co-sponsor of Hometown Holiday.

Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.
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