A few days before last Christmas, with many parts of the city pleasantly paralyzed by deep snow and those who had the luxury to do so sticking close to home, a very special Christmas spoken word and sing-along event was held at Good Shepherd Center Chapel in Wallingford.
While last year'ês weather meant sparse attendance, those who managed to make it over the river and through the woods were treated to a pleasing low-tech evening in the capable hands of Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard, as this highlight video demonstrates. Snow or no snow, Dorpat and Sherrard are at it again this year, with the second annual Up The Down Chimney event coming up this Tuesday, December 22 at 7:30 pm at Good Shepherd.
Sherrard will read Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory." Dorpat will read Thurber's version of "The Night Before Christmas" in the style of Ernest Hemingway, and a piece called "The Green Mountain Justice." Sherrard and Dorpat, who have collaborated on a number of historic photography projects and a book, will be joined by Julie Briskman, who will read Nathan Englander's "Reb Kringle," about a rabbi reluctantly playing Santa. The trio will also reprise last year'ês sing-along of "The Poor Birdies Song," previously performed by Dorpat and his brothers. John and Tia Owen will accompany on guitar and violin, with Mark Kramer on guitar and distinguished UW emeritus trombonist Stewart Dempster adding unique brass accents.
Paul Dorpat says that with admission priced at $10 or what you can afford, Up The Down Chimney costs much less than the sentimental White Christmas now playing at the 5th Avenue Theatre. "And while this show is also sentimental," Dorpat says, "it serves these sentiments with an edge. It asks the question, 'What may we do with Christmas if not exploit it?' "
If You Go...
Up The Down Chimney
Tuesday, December 22 at 7:30 pm; Good Shepherd Center Chapel in Wallingford; 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North. Tickets $10 at the door or pay what you can.