AN AMERICAN CHRISTMAS

Now in its 22nd Year! 

 

December 16th - December 24th

6:30pm nightly in the Ballroom of the Hotel del Coronado

 

written & directed by Robert Smyth

musical direction by Deborah Gilmour Smyth

choreography by Colleen Kollar Smith

  

An American Christmas is a holiday event unique in the nation. 

 

Step inside the gorgeous Ballroom of the historic Hotel Del and you are back in 1913 for a memorable Christmas feast and celebration! This remarkable 3-hour evening is filled with music, dance, story, song and laughter, all woven throughout a delectable 5-course holiday meal. 

Your hosts are the Marshall family who love to celebrate the Season each year at the beautiful Hotel del Coronado. 27 multi-talented performers sweep you up in a festive party that will be the pinnacle of your holidays!

Many guests have come to make AN AMERICAN CHRISTMAS an annual part of their holiday tradition. Guest come from around the Southwest and across the nation for this unique event.

Seating is a round tables of 8.

Festive attire, with jackets suggested for gentlemen. 

The all-inclusive ticket price includes the evening's entertainment, an hors d’oeuvre party by the windows overlooking the skating rink, a four-course meal at your table, a champagne toast, self-parking, tax and gratuity. 

 

There is also a wine list at the table and a cash bar in the room.

 

Tickets are for assigned lettered tables, not for specific seats at that table. Discounted tickets for children ages 5 – 12.

(We regret we are unable to entertain children under the age of 5) 

 

An American Christmas Menu

 

Soup

Butternut Squash with Roasted Garlic

Salad

Persimmon and Strawberry Salad with Honey and Rosemary

Entrée

Braised Beef Short Rib with Lemon Poached Prawns

Yukon Potato Gratin, Bluelake Beans, Roasted Mushrooms

Dessert

New York Style Cheesecake with Pumpkin Anglaise

Jesse Abeel
Jesse Abeel is proud to be a part of LPT's staff and acting ensemble and excited to work with such a remarkable group of people on this timeless piece of theatre. He is a graduate from Cal State University, Fullerton with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Some LPT favorites: You Can't Take It With You (Tony), Les Misérables (Marius), The 39 Steps (Clown 1), Fiddler on the Roof (Mendel), The Music Man (Tommy), and Smoke on the Mountain (Dennis). CSUF Roles: Miss Saigon (Chris), As You Like It (Orlando), Romeo and Juliet (Paris) and others. Thank you to my wife, Holly, for being my best friend and the love of my life. Thank you family and friends for your constant love and support. Most of all, I thank God for everything I have - "Soli Deo gloria."

Moriah Angeline
Moriah is happy to be back in her hometown of San Diego performing with one of her favorite theatre companies! Credits include: Sophie in Mamma Mia (Las Vegas), Janis in One Night With Janis Joplin (Portland Center Stage) the white girl with soul in It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues (San Diego Rep), Rizzo in Grease, Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde, Peter in Peter Pan. Lamb’s credits include: Martha in 1776, American Rhythm and 8 Christmas productions. Moriah has performed in Japan and throughout the United States. She is currently a resident of New York, where she can be found singing at Soul Night at Toshi's Living Room, working with medical students as a standardized patient, teaching fitness classes, and delighting kids of all ages as Elsa from Frozen. Moriah has produced two shows at the Duplex cabaret theatre, including a solo show that was attended and lauded by Ed Asner. Co-owner of San Diego-based singing telegram company Lip Service (www.sdlipservice.com). Proud member of Actor's Equity. www.moriahangeline.net

Danny Boman

Kathleen Calvin
Kathleen Calvin is always grateful to be working at Lambs Players Theatre. She spent her high school summers performing children’s theatre in Missoula, Montana as well as advanced acting camps for Lamb’s Players in National City. Her previous credits are, Lyceum Theatre: Playwrights project (Rosie). Lawrence Welk Theatre: Rent (Mimi). Lamb's Players Theatre: Joe vs. the Volcano (Waponi), Book of the Dun Cow (Dun Cow), An American Christmas (Laurella Tolman), Music Man (Gracie U/S). Moonlight Theatre: Hairspray (Lorraine), Miss Saigon. Starlight Theatre: Miss Saigon (Yvette), Jesus Christ Superstar (Soul Girl), Pajama Game (Mara), Ragtime, Nine, My Fair Lady, Wizard of Oz, High School Musical. Performance Riverside: Aida. She has her BA in Theatre from Cal State Fullerton, and is a dance instructor in Chula Vista as well as having her own dance studio in Pine Valley. She is thankful to her family and friends for their love and support.

Greg Campbell

Ian Cunningham

Cynthia Gerber
was a member of LPT’s Resident Ensemble from 1988 to 2001 and is now an Associate Artist. She was recently seen in Lamb's annual Festival of Christmas - Northern Lights where she played Patsy Bumpus. Prior to that you saw her in Twelfth Night as Maria, and in Quilters and Wit. Favorite productions at LPT include Harvey, The Hit, Susan and God, The Miracle Worker, Flight, Steel Magnolias, Quilters, Busman’s Honeymoon, Detective Story, See How They Run, Amadeus, Dracula, To Kill A Mockingbird, and Ring Round The Moon. Cynthia studied at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She is also enjoying her role as Cannon and Spencer’s mom.

Deborah Gilmour Smyth
Associate Artistic Director and director of Patron Services, Deborah has been a member of the Lamb’s Players resident ensemble since 1979 . Originally from the East Coast, she has lived all over the United States and went to school at San Francisco State University where she studied music and theatre. One of San Diego’s most active performers with over 200 productions to her credit, she is a six-time recipient of the San Diego Theatre Critics’ Circle’s Craig Noel Award including Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play for Lamb’s 2013 production of Wit and Outstanding Female Performance in a Musical for her performance as Mother in Ragtime at Starlight Musical Theatre, for her role of Margaret Johnson in The Light in the Piazza at Lamb’s Players, and for her role of Mrs. Lovett at Cygnet Theatre. She has been honored with Backstage West and numerous Patte awards for performance, original music, sound design. At Lamb’s Players Deborah has performed in over 160 productions, directed over 70 productions, sound designed, written original music, or musically directed over 80 productions. Deborah enjoys the opportunity to be involved in an amazing ensemble that is the Lamb’s Players family. Deborah and her husband, Producing Artistic Director Robert Smyth, make their home in Coronado.

Ralph Johnson
is very pleased to be a part of this American musical theatre classic. He last appeared with Lamb's Players Theatre in An American Christmas at the Hotel Del Coronado. Previous Lamb’s appearances include Hometown Christmas in Perry, Iowa, Room Service, The Voysey Inheritance, Hello, Dolly!, Into The Woods, 1776, and She Loves Me. In the last year he has appeared in Gypsy with Ion Theatre Company, Annie with Moonlight Stage Productions, Our Town with Cygnet Theatre, and Hamlet with Grossmont College. Many thanks to Kerry for this opportunity. What a journey. What a ride.

Charlene Koepf
Charlene Koepf is thrilled to be performing again with Lamb’s Players! You may have recently seen her as Cosette in Lamb's production of Les Miserables. Recent credits include: Glynis in An American Christmas (Lamb’s Players), Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof (Lamb's Players), Kathy in Company (Cygnet Theatre), Young Little Edie in Grey Gardens (Ion Theatre), Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof (Moonlight), Alison in Brooklyn Boy (Scripps Ranch Theatre), Jo in Little Women (Fulks Theatre) and Emma in Jekyll and Hyde (Paramount). Charlene holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Abilene Christian University. She is thrilled to be sharing this incredible story with you and thanks God, family, friends and this remarkable cast and crew for endless support and love!

Meghan McCann
Meghan is thrilled to return for her second year in Lambs Players', "An American Christmas." Meghan is in 8th grade and enjoys Irish dancing, being with her friends and babysitting her siblings. She has participated in a school production of Hamlet in which she played Hamlet, voice over roles for Jonathan Park, and numerous dance recitals. She is currently working on her school production of Mulan in which she plays Mushu at Discovery Charter School. She would like to thank Mrs. Schroeder for music work, her dance teachers Ms. Jeannie and Ms. Alisa at Clan Rince, her dad for voice lessons, her family for all their support, and her Lord Jesus for making this all possible.

Emilie McDonald
​Emilie is delighted to be performing with LPT for her third show. She has previously appeared in Quilters and An American Christmas with LPT. Emilie has performed as pianist, conductor, violinist, and violist in a variety of productions, including The Mikado, Snoopy!!! The Fantasticks, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Oklahoma!. She has a degree in music from San Diego Christian College, where she has also served as part of the music faculty. Emilie also runs a large private music studio, teaching violin, viola, and piano. She would like to thank her family and music teachers for their continued support and inspiration in her music endeavors.

Grandison Phelps

John Burt Polhamus
John has developed a varied career embracing opera, musical theatre, oratorio and concert singing, as well as straight acting, in the United States, Europe, Mexico, and Asia. A native San Diegan, John has appeared with San Diego Opera, the San Diego Symphony, San Diego Musical Theater, the Bach Collegium San Diego, Welk Resort Theatre, Starlight Opera, the San Diego Gilbert and Sullivan Repertory Company, Pacific Chamber Opera, and in Lamb's Players productions including "Fiddler on the Roof" (x 2), "1776," "The Music Man," "A Man for All Seasons," "Twelfth Night," "An American Christmas" (x 10!) and "Taran-Tara!" John has performed in London's West End, covering and performing the roles of Al Jolson in "Jolson - the Musical, "Mssr. Lumiere" in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," and "Mssr. Firmin" in Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera." He has also toured Europe with Pavillion Opera, Regency Opera, and English Festival Opera.

Brandon Sherman
Baritone Brandon Sherman started his musical career at a young age, appearing on the theatre stage as Colin from “The Secret Garden.” Mr. Sherman's credits include the roles of Valjean in "Les Miserables," Tom Collins in RENT!, Pooh-Bah in Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta “The Mikado,” as well as numerous others throughout Southern California. Mr. Sherman has been a contracted member of the San Diego Opera Chorus since age 19 and has performed in Carnegie Hall under John Rutter’s baton, as well as internationally in Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Lichtenstein. An accomplished pedagogue, Mr. Sherman graduated with a Bachelors in Applied Arts and Science in Voice and has taught private voice for six years as a recognized Associate NATS (National Association of Teacher of Singing) member. As a passionate educator, he is also the Director of Musical Theatre for the Poway School District in an after-school enrichment program, KidzTyme and President of Star Repertory Theatre in Escondido. Mr. Sherman is honored to continue as an Associate Artist with LPT.

Robert Smyth
is LAMB's Producing Artistic Director. He joined the staff of Lamb's Players Street Theatre as an actor and director in 1976. In 1978 LAMB'S opened its first resident theatre in National City, and then in 1994 brought the old performance space in Coronado's historic Spreckel's Building back to life as its new home. Robert has directed more than 150 productions for LAMB'S, and performed in over 100, including favorite roles in A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1776, Cyrano De Bergerac, The Boys Next Door, and the one-man show Damien. He and his wife, director, actor, composer, Deborah Gilmour Smyth, make their home in Coronado.

Alexis Rae Tenney

Ramona Unwin
Ramona has performed with Lamb's Players "An American Christmas" for all 23 years. Needless to say it has truly become a family tradition. Throughout the year Ramona teaches harp to all ages and recently started a harp ensemble. She has performed in many unique settings of weddings, churches, parties, hotels, and restaurants. She and her husband Randal, repair and service harps through out Southern California.

Kelsey Venter
Kelsey Venter is thrilled to be back with this incredible company! Most recently, Venter was one of the 20 core actors in Lamb’s Guinness-World-Record-Breaking 100 Hours of Stories. As a Lamb's Associate Artist, Venter has appeared in THE 39 STEPS (Annabella/Margaret/Pamela), GUYS AND DOLLS (Sarah Brown), and TRYING (Sarah). Other regional credits include HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (Mama Who) at The Old Globe, I LOVE YOU BECAUSE (Marcy) at North Coast Rep, OLIVER! (Nancy) at Woodminster Amphitheater, SHE LOVES ME (Amalia) and BOEING-BOEING (Gloria) at CenterREP, THE THREEPENNY OPERA (Polly Peachum) and SEAGULL IN THE HAMPTONS (Nina) with Shotgun Players, and 'TIS PITY SHE'S A WHORE (Philotis) and A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Martha Cratchit, Ghost of Christmas Past) with the American Conservatory Theater. Venter earned her BA in Theatre from San Diego State University and her MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater.


Patrick J. Duffy
Sound Designer
Patrick's favorite roles have been MacDuff in Macbeth at Intrepid, and Hyde in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at Ion. Other stage credits here at Lamb's include Pete N Keely, The Book of the Dun Cow, Smoke on the Mountain ‘04 & ‘10, Festival of Christmas ‘08, The Voysey Inheritance, An Ideal Husband, Cold Comfort Farm, South Pacific, and Rehearsal for Murder (which he also stage managed and sound designed). He recently won the Craig Noel "Outstanding Sound Design" award for Les Misérables, and his other sound credits here are MIXTAPE, Fiddler on the Roof, Pump Boys & Dinettes, Godspell, Boomers, The Fantasticks, The Light in the Piazza, Joseph ‘07 and ‘15, American Rhythm ‘06 at the Lyceum, The Secret Garden, and Enchanted April. When not on stage or designing, he can be found building sets or as Lamb’s Audio Master. Patrick is thankful for all His blessings in his life, and wishes you the same. Thanks for coming by, enjoy!

Deborah Gilmour Smyth
Musical Director
Associate Artistic Director and director of Patron Services, Deborah has been a member of the Lamb’s Players resident ensemble since 1979 . Originally from the East Coast, she has lived all over the United States and went to school at San Francisco State University where she studied music and theatre. One of San Diego’s most active performers with over 200 productions to her credit, she is a six-time recipient of the San Diego Theatre Critics’ Circle’s Craig Noel Award including Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play for Lamb’s 2013 production of Wit and Outstanding Female Performance in a Musical for her performance as Mother in Ragtime at Starlight Musical Theatre, for her role of Margaret Johnson in The Light in the Piazza at Lamb’s Players, and for her role of Mrs. Lovett at Cygnet Theatre. She has been honored with Backstage West and numerous Patte awards for performance, original music, sound design. At Lamb’s Players Deborah has performed in over 160 productions, directed over 70 productions, sound designed, written original music, or musically directed over 80 productions. Deborah enjoys the opportunity to be involved in an amazing ensemble that is the Lamb’s Players family. Deborah and her husband, Producing Artistic Director Robert Smyth, make their home in Coronado.

Maria Mangiavellano
Stage Manager
has stage managed the world premiere of mixtape, in addition to An Inspector Calls; Enchanted April; Godspell; The Glass Menagerie; Room Service; Boomers (x 2); The Voysey Inheritance; The Secret Garden; An American Christmas (x 6); American Rhythm; Metamorphoses; Dial M For Murder; South Pacific; The Great Divorce; 1776; Dr. Faustus; The Glass Menagerie; Room Service; The Fantasticks; Joyful Noise; Hello, Dolly!; An Ideal Husband; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; and Festival of Christmas. Elsewhere she has stage managed Travesties, The Importance of Being Earnest, Cabaret, Pageant, and Man of La Mancha for North Coast Repertory Theatre and six productions for Moonlight at the Avo Playhouse and Moonlight Amphitheatre. She has also stage managed for San Diego Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, the Gaslamp Quarter Theatre Company, and the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival. She holds an MFA from UCSD.

Michael McKeon
Properties
I’m an avid Painter, Sculptor, Graphic Designer, Photographer, Videographer and "maker of things." In San Diego theaters, I’ve worked as a Scenic Designer/Builder, Scenic Artist, Properties Designer, Multimedia/Video Designer and Technician and Stage Manager for numerous productions and special events. Some favorites: Killer Joe (SDTCC Craig Noel Award - Compass); SideMan (Diversionary); Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella (StageHouse); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Intrepid Theatre); For Lambs: Mixtape, Trying (SDTCC Nomination), Joe vs. The Volcano (SDTCC Nomination), 39 Steps. Thanks to all! Check out my work at MichaelMcKeon.com

Michelle Miles
Assistant Stage Manager
Light Designer

Jeanne Reith
Costume Designer
This marks Jeanne's 25th year as a Costume Designer with Lambs. Her work has achieved Theatre Critics Awards such as the Craig Noel, KPBS Patte, and Billie Awards. Productions awarded for Costume design included: Servant of Two Masters. An Ideal Husband, A Woman of No Importance, Till We Have Faces, The Boy Who Fell Into a Book, Joyful Noise, Tarantara! Tarantara!, Dr. Faustus, Little Foxes, The Winslow Boy, and Metamorphoses. In 2008 a Patte Award for costumes was presented to her for the entire season including Hello, Dolly!, The Voysey Inheritance, The Hit, Boomers, The Light in the Piazza, Festival of Christmas: Angel’s Arms and An American Christmas. Besides continuing her service and collaborative work at Lambs she currently teaches fashion programs including Patternmaking and Sewn Product Business at West City Continuing Education in Point Loma.

Colleen Kollar Smith
Choreographer
LPT: West Side Story, 100 Hours of Stories, Fiddler on the Roof, miXtape (co-creator), Guys and Dolls, Music Man, The Fantasticks, Godspell, Joseph..., Light in the Piazza, Book of the Dun Cow, American Christmas. New Village Arts: Return to the Forbidden Planet. Intrepid Shakespeare Company: Midsummer the Musical, Cygnet Theatre: Man of La Mancha, Dirty Blonde, Private Lives, Moonlight Stage Productions: Ring Round the Moon, You Never Can Tell. USD: Gone Missing. Colleen is a graduate of the University of San Diego's Masters in Nonprofit Leadership program and works as the Director of Organizational Advancement at New Village Arts in Carlsbad. Favorite roles to date: wife to the totally radical Lance Arthur, and Mom to most awesome Carmen Scotland (Scottie) and Pepper Rae.

Robert Smyth
Director
is LAMB's Producing Artistic Director. He joined the staff of Lamb's Players Street Theatre as an actor and director in 1976. In 1978 LAMB'S opened its first resident theatre in National City, and then in 1994 brought the old performance space in Coronado's historic Spreckel's Building back to life as its new home. Robert has directed more than 150 productions for LAMB'S, and performed in over 100, including favorite roles in A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1776, Cyrano De Bergerac, The Boys Next Door, and the one-man show Damien. He and his wife, director, actor, composer, Deborah Gilmour Smyth, make their home in Coronado.


"A lavish holiday feast with a historical twist! The atmosphere is authentic and undeniably merry. Guests leave with all their Yuletide yearnings satisfied!"
- Westways Magazine

"Exceptionally entertaining! Far exceeded my wildest expectations."
David Lansing - Sunset Magazine

"A perfect melding of food, ambience, and showmanship."
- San Diego Magazine

"I love the Hotel Del at Christmastime. It's like you're back 100 years, which is where you should be at Christmas."
- Ray Bradbury

"Twenty-one years ago, Robert Smyth wanted to develop a Christmas dinner show for his Lamb’s Players Theatre, but every holiday script he read was set in the Victorian England of Charles Dickens.

“I thought, what about an American Christmas?” said Smyth, producing artistic director for the Coronado-based theater company. “An American celebration would be unique because we’re a nation of immigrants who bring a lot of traditions together and that creates a unique flavor all its own.”

In 1992, Smyth’s “An American Christmas” debuted at the Granger Music Hall in National City. The Lamb’s Players production featured actors playing members of a large family coming together in 1905 San Diego to celebrate the holidays, with audience members doing double-duty as the family’s invited party guests. The actors in the show not only sang and danced, they also set the tables, served the meal and cleaned up afterward.

Two years later, Lamb’s Players moved from National City to downtown Coronado and Smyth went looking for a new hall to stage his historically themed holiday dinner. Turns out, one of his new neighbors was interested. Dean Nelson, then president of the Hotel del Coronado, attended a performance of “An American Christmas” and the very next morning, he invited Lamb’s to move the gala dinner into the historic hotel’s Crown ballroom.

Since then, “An American Christmas” has grown to become one of the Del’s most popular holiday traditions. This season’s run opens Monday and runs for 9 nights (no performance Christmas Day). The show includes a gourmet five-course dinner served while the Lamb’s cast of 27 performs a three-hour show that includes singing, dancing and audience interaction.

The show’s plot is the holiday reunion of members of San Diego’s affluent Marshall family, circa 1912. Joining widowed family matriarch Willa Ray Marshall (played each year by Deborah Gilmour Smyth, Lamb’s associate artistic director) are her adult sons, daughters and in-laws, nephews and nieces, business associates, neighbors and family friends (not to mention about 350 ticket-holders who are the Marshall’s honored guests each night).

Between courses, the Marshalls entertain with songs, stories, jokes, poems, Champagne toasts, singalongs and dancing. Diners celebrating birthdays, weddings and anniversaries are singled out for notice (one couple celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary at the dinner one night, while another couple attended on their wedding night). Each night, one male audience member is named Potato King and feted with a parade (led by Robert Smyth, who plays Willa Ray’s bawdy Irish immigrant cousin, Ian O’Casey). The actors circulate to every table and interact (in character) with guests; they wander the aisles singing barbershop harmony, and they bring small children in attendance onstage at the end of the show to perform a choreographed dance.

Each fall, Smyth updates the script so that the story is always 100 years in the past. In one segment of the show, male cast members read historical facts from newspapers of the day (for example, in 1912 the Oreo cookie was invented and Fenway Park debuted). Gilmour Smyth updates the score each year with popular songs of the day. And the costumers and wigs crew make regular updates to keep up with the times.

This year, all of the men’s costumes will be updated with white waistcoats, which were all the rage in 1912. In last year’s show, female cast members wore elaborate hats to celebrate California’s suffragettes (who won the right to vote in 1911). But in 1912, hats were out of fashion, so costumer Jeanne Reith has retired them from this year’s show. Coming soon are changes to the men’s wigs and facial hair. When World War I began in 1914, men heading into the service shaved off their mustaches and beards so their gas masks would fit securely in the trenches.

Each year there is a special themed tribute in the after-dinner program. In 2009, it was the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. This year, the cast will commemorate the tragic sinking of the Titanic with a poignant reading of the Thomas Hardy poem “The Convergence of the Twain."

Pam Kragen - North County Times

An American Christmas seat map

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An Unforgettable 1913 Celebration!

Run Time:

Lamb's Box Office (619) 437-6000
Phone Hours:
Tue - Sat, Noon to 7pm / Sun, Noon to 2
The Horton Grand Box Office opens at 5pm Wed - Sat, opens Sun at 2pm

Discounts:
Under 30? Find out about half-price tickets!
Seniors (65+) and Groups of 10+ – $5 off
For group discounts for more than 10 people please contact Susan Andrews (619) 437-6050 x126