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Norwalk’s Theatre Artists Workshop Presents 'Holiday Memories'

The cast of Theatre Artists Workshop's performance of "Holiday Memories" includes, from left, Granville Burgess of Greenwich, Katie Sparer of Stratford, Jo Anne Parady of Southport, Mark Basile of Weston and Melody James of Westport.
The cast of Theatre Artists Workshop's performance of "Holiday Memories" includes, from left, Granville Burgess of Greenwich, Katie Sparer of Stratford, Jo Anne Parady of Southport, Mark Basile of Weston and Melody James of Westport. Photo Credit: Contributed

NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk’s Theatre Artists Workshop will present a concert reading of Truman Capote's "Holiday Memories" in the troupe's black box theatre at 5 Gregory Blvd.

Shows will be at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4.

Capote’s deliciously dry humor, a beloved spinster, whisky-soaked fruitcake, kooky Southern relatives and a tipsy rat terrier are highlights of the performance.

Admission to the classic night concert reading is free, but a $15 donation is suggested at the door to support the workshop, a nonprofit organization of professional actors, writers and directors founded in 1983 by stage and screen star Keir Dullea.

Adapted by Russell Vandenbrouke, the two one-acts that comprise “Holiday Memories” bring to the stage two of Capote’s most beloved stories, “A Thanksgiving Visitor” and “A Christmas Memory,” which vividly detail the author’s recollections of being a small boy sent to live with Alabama relatives during the 1930s Depression.

Longtime workshop member Jo Anne Parady of Southport creates the pivotal role of Capote’s elderly spinster cousin, the reclusive Miss Souk, whose cherished relationship with young Truman lies at the heart of the tale.

Utilizing the theatrical conceit and inherent dramatic tension of a middle-aged narrator sharing the stage with his younger self, “Holiday Memories” features workshop performer Katie Sparer of Stratford as 7-year-old Truman and Mark Basile of Weston as the older Truman. Basile and Sparer also direct the evening.

Melody James of Westport and Granville Burgess of Greenwich showcase their talents, playing a wide range of Capote’s colorful, funny and sometimes terrifying characters, including the Rev. J.C. Lucy, “HaHa”Jones, the girl bully, and the “meanest human creature,” Odd Henderson.

The Theatre Artists Workshop is located in the Old Well Masonic Lodge at 5 Gregory Blvd. in East Norwalk.

No reservations are required for concert readings. Doors open 30 minutes before curtain, and there is ample free parking. Early arrival is recommended.

For more information call 203-854-6830. Find out more about the workshop, its players and history, and its periodic public performances at www.taworkshop.org .

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