Broadway star joins local girls on stage: Schoolhouse Players production opens Dec. 1

Special Report
A veteran Broadway star and 12 of the cutest little Georgia girls you’ll ever see take the stage in The Schoolhouse Players’ production of the musical Madeline’s Christmas opening Dec. 1. 
The show is based on the beloved children’s book of the same name, which has become a Yuletide classic.
 Steve Fowler, who shot to stardom as Poppa in the Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, is not only appearing in the role of Harsha, the magical rug merchant. He is also serving as vocal coach for the dozen youngsters who share the spotlight with him. Now, that’s a stage full of talent, especially when you add favorites from The Players’ troupe Rosie Burge (Bartow) as Miss Clavel and Ann Smith (Moxley) as Mrs. Murphy, the slightly bewildered cook at Miss Clavel’s boarding house in Paris. 
Emily Lloyd (Millen) fills the musical’s title role as the brave, outgoing and downright irrepressible Madeline, and Emily’s sister Brenna Lloyd is also in this all-singing, all-dancing cast. 
Their co-stars are Kadence Amerson (Tennille); Addyson Upton (Sandersville); Kamille Sheppard, Adalyn Downs, Ava Sheppard, Chandler Taylor, Yza Lopez, Kinsley Melson, Camryn Taylor, and Kamari Sheppard (Louisville). That’s a stage full of talent!
The production’s choreographer is Kira Mantey (Tennille), and the show’s one-man orchestra is Lee Lumley (Wrightsville) on piano and synthesizer. 
Sets are the handiwork of Brad Smith (Bartow) and lighting is by George Rachels (Bartow). 
The 27 new costumes designed especially for this production are by Daina Lloyd. 
Assuring that all runs smoothly are director Roger Burge (Bartow) and assistant director Susan Lewis (Sandersville). 
Madeline’s Christmas concludes The Players’ 20th season on a high note. 
“It takes scores of volunteers and a generous sponsor to produce a show such as this,” Burge said. “For The Players’ production of Madeline’s Christmas, our sponsor is long time ally and supporter, Citizens Bank of the South. We deeply appreciate its involvement in bringing live theater to Middle East Georgia and hope you’ll let the people at Citizens Bank of the South know you appreciate their Christmas gift to our corner of the world.” 
Performances are scheduled for Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, and 10. Show-times are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. 
Tickets are $15 Adults / $5 for all students through 12th grade and are available at the door or online at www.theschoolhouseplayers.org.
For group reservations, please call 704-576-1816. Prepaid groups of 12 or more are discounted $1 per ticket. Performances are in the Mancin Auditorium, Bartow Community Center. 
“This is a family musical that’s funny, as well as inspiring for all ages,” Burge said. “Tickets would make an excellent Christmas present …. hint, hint, hint.”