GRAND FORKS — As “Medora Christmas Memories” hits the stage in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota this holiday season, audiences can expect the Medora-themed concert to put them in Christmas spirit, said producer Bill Sorensen.
“They can expect to go away much more ready for Christmas and full of Christmas cheer,” he said.
Now in its sixth year, the Medora Christmas Pageant is scheduled to have 24 shows in 22 communities in December. On Friday, December 2, the show comes to Grand Forks with two shows at the Empire Arts Center at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sorensen, who also hosts “Medora Christmas Memories,” said the show ties into its overall theme of Christmas memories. It features past and current stars of the Medora Musical, a summer show held in Medora.
Travis Smith, the show’s musical director, said this year’s show is a combination of Christmas classics and deep holiday cuts. He is also returning to the show as a musical act for his fourth year.
“There will be a lot of traditional music, as well as some songs that people aren’t as familiar with, but these are songs that the cast members like or have a special memory of,” he said.
Along with Smith, the show will feature fellow returning musical artists Emily Walter, Amberly Rosen and Misty Koop. Musical artists will sing solo and ensemble numbers and play instruments. New to the show this year is magician Colin Zasadny, who performed shows at Medora over the summer, and featured the Waddington Brothers musical act.
The Waddington Brothers are four brothers from southwestern North Dakota who play acoustic music with vocal harmony. Unlike other acts in the series, the Waddington Brothers have not been part of the musical Medora in the past.
“They’re four brothers from a small town in western North Dakota, but they’re very good,” Sorenson said.
Sorensen launched the Medora Christmas pageant. In previous years, Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation produced it. This year, the foundation was busy with other shows, so Sorensen’s company, Bill Sorensen Productions, is hosting it.
Last year, a number of Medora’s Christmas show dates had to be canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 cases in the cast and crew. This year, contingency plans are included to avoid cancellations.
“If we lose a person or two, we have backup numbers and that kind of stuff prepared,” Sorensen said.
As the Christmas pageant returns to communities year after year, Smith says he’s noticed it’s starting to become a holiday tradition.
“Like going to ‘The Nutcracker’ or going to see ‘A Christmas Carol.’ For people, going to the Medora Christmas pageant is part of their tradition,” he said.
A full list of dates, locations and times, as well as tickets, can be found at