Cast of ‘Yes, Virginia…The Musical’ begins rehearsals

Yes, Virginia...The Musical

Matthew Oldenburg and Maya Sprague rehearse the opening number in “Yes, Virginia…The Musical,” CNY Arts Center’s premiere holiday production set for Dec. 7-16.

A new stage and a new musical premiere welcomed the cast of “Yes, Virginia…The Musical” when CNY Arts Center began rehearsals for its first holiday production.

The holiday classic tale is being presented through special arrangement with Macy’s, who created the musical stage version of their animated TV classic. With toe-tapping dance numbers and a chorus of town folk, the story is brought to life with veteran actors alongside newcomers to the stage.

Nine year old Maya Sprague, an Oswego fourth grader, makes her theatrical debut in the title role of Virginia playing opposite Matthew Oldenburg as Virginia’s best friend Ollie. Oldenburg is an Oswego fifth grader seen onstage in the last three summers of Harborfest children’s musicals and as Kurt in the Oswego High School production of “Sound of Music.”

Virginia’s nemesis Charlotte is portrayed by Kaylee Foster, a 10-year-old Fulton homeschooler with extensive stage and performance experience. Foster competed in CNY Arts Center’s first Arts Fest on the River talent competition. Charlotte’s feline companion, Mrs. Whiskers, is played by newcomer Jasmine Criswell, a Fulton sixth grader.

Lovable Scraggly Santa is played by Mark Parry, opposite the cranky newspaper editor, Frank Church, portrayed by veteran actor Bobby Fontana. Marguerite Beebe portrays the Librarian as narrator and storyteller. All three were most recently seen in “Godspell,” CNY Arts Center’s debut production and are joined by Carly Farfaglia and Marlina Beebe, also from “Godspell.”

Dancing pigeons and Santas from around the world are joined by energetic Newsies doing leaps and bounds across the multi-level stage in sophisticated choreography by Amy Price.

Yann Taddei, a French foreign exchange student attending school in Fulton, joins the cast as a Newsie and will share his tap dancing talent in a featured dance break.

It runs Dec. 7-9 and 14-16 at CNY Arts Center’s facility in the State Street Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton.

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