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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of December 10 - 16, 2003

Arts and Entertainment

To give the gift of love

Express Staff Writer

We are told early on that the holidays are a season of giving. But the desire to receive—or not to give at all but to horde— can be overpowering for even the most selfless. On these occasions it may take a seemingly outdated fable to remind us of the power of giving.

In such a vein, the early-20th century short story writer, O. Henry created in 1903 what would be come a classic holiday story, "The Gift of the Magi."

This sweet and ironic American tale concerns the devoted but struggling newlyweds Jim and Della. Their vivid imaginations keep them emotionally afloat by creating a storybook world for themselves. But there are hard times when Christmas approaches and there is still little money at hand. Jim and Della each end up selling their most valuable possessions in order to buy the other's Christmas present.

In this play version, adapter Peter Ekstrom uses the O. Henry story but adds the element of music to the story-telling. In this piece more than half the story is told through song.

The story is about generosity in its purest form, about sacrifice, about what people who love each other will do to express their love.

The cast, under Denise Simone’s direction features Andrew Alburger as O. Henry and the shopkeepers, John Glenn as Jim and Jennifer Perry as Della.

Alburger has appeared in the Company’s productions of "The Tempest," "Waiting for Godot," "James Joyce's The Dead," "A Christmas Carol" and "True West" with Bruce Willis. He also played Captain Von Trapp in Laughing Stock’s "The Sound of Music."

Perry has appeared as Aldonza in "Man of La Mancha," then directed, choreographed and danced in "Cabaret," appeared as Maria in "The Sound of Music," all of which were produced by Laughing Stock Theatre. Her work with Company of Fools has been in two productions of "A Christmas Carol" and "The Tempest." She recently produced, directed and appeared in "Little Shop of Horrors" at nexStage Theatre.

Glenn is a founding member and the production manager for Company of Fools. He has appeared in "The Laramie Project," "The Tempest," "A Christmas Carol," "This Property is Condemned," and "Something Unspoken."

Simone’s directing credits for the Company include "A Christmas Carol," "The Laramie Project," "Talley’s Folly," "The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse," "Jack and the Beanstalk" and "Diary of A Madman."

Set design is by Dennis Rexroad whose designs for COF include "Always…Patsy Cline," "The Laramie Project," "The Tempest," "True West," "Dinner With Friends," "The Seagull," "Side Man" and "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea."

The stage has dark wood surrounded by red curtains. "It looks like a little wooden jewelry box is on stage," Simone said. "It’s so beautiful."

The costume design is by Elizabeth Weiss Hopper an associate professor of Theatre at the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Tickets are $12 for reserved seating Wednesday through Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Dec. 10 through Dec. 21, Wednesday though Sunday.

The COF box office, located at 409 North Main Street in Hailey, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets may be charged by phone during box office hours at 208-578-9122, or on-line through TicketWeb.



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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.