Thursday, November 29, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

EbzB presents "Dickens' Food and Froth" in Southport, NC. November 30, 2012.


Charles Dickens depicts the perfect Christmas several years before he published A Christmas Carol.
By Charles Dickens

Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused – in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened – by the recurrence of Christmas.

Who can be insensible to the outpourings of good feeling, and the honest interchange of affectionate attachment, which abound at this season of the year? A Christmas family-party! We know nothing in nature more delightful! There seems a magic in the very name of Christmas. Petty jealousies and discords are forgotten; social feelings are awakened, in bosoms to which they have long been strangers; father and son, or brother and sister, who have met and passed with averted gaze, or a look of cold recognition, for months before, proffer and return the cordial embrace, and bury their past animosities in their present happiness. Kindly hearts that have yearned towards each other, but have been withheld by false notions of pride and self-dignity, are again reunited, and all is kindness and benevolence! Would that Christmas lasted the whole year through (as it ought), and that the prejudices and passions which deform our better nature, were never called into action among those to whom they should ever be strangers!

The Christmas family-party that we mean, is not a mere assemblage of relations, got up at a week or two's notice, originating this year, having no family precedent in the last, and not likely to be repeated in the next. No. It is an annual gathering of all the accessible members of the family, young or old, rich or poor; and all the children look forward to it, for two months beforehand, in a fever of anticipation. Formerly, it was held at grandpapa's; but grandpapa getting old, and grandmamma getting old too, and rather infirm, they have given up house-keeping, and domesticated themselves with uncle George; so, the party always takes place at uncle George's house, but grandmamma sends in most of the good things, and grandpapa always will toddle down, all the way to Newgate Market, to buy the turkey, which he engages a porter to bring home behind him in triumph, always insisting on the man's being rewarded with a glass of spirits, over and above his hire, to drink "a merry Christmas and a happy new year" to aunt George. As to grandmamma, she is very secret and mysterious for two or three days beforehand, but not sufficiently so to prevent rumours getting afloat that she has purchased a beautiful new cap with pink ribbons for each of the servants, together with sundry books, and pen-knives, and pencil–cases, for the younger branches; to say nothing of divers secret additions to the order originally given by aunt George at the pastry-cook's, such as another dozen of mince-pies for the dinner, and a large plum-cake for the children.

On Christmas Eve, grandmamma is always in excellent spirits, and after employing all the children, during the day, in stoning the plums, and all that, insists, regularly every year, on uncle George coming down into the kitchen, taking off his coat, and stirring the pudding for half an hour or so, which uncle George good-humouredly does, to the vociferous delight of the children and servants. The evening concludes with a glorious game of blind-man's-buff, in an early stage of which grandpapa takes great care to be caught, in order that he may have an opportunity of displaying his dexterity.

On the following morning, the old couple, with as many of the children as the pew will hold, go to church in great state: leaving aunt George at home dusting decanters and filling casters, and uncle George carrying bottles into the dining-parlour, and calling for corkscrews, and getting into everybody's way.

When the church–party return to lunch, grandpapa produces a small sprig of mistletoe from his pocket, and tempts the boys to kiss their little cousins under it – a proceeding which affords both the boys and the old gentleman unlimited satisfaction, but which rather outrages grandmamma's ideas of decorum, until grandpapa says that when he was just thirteen years and three months old, he kissed grandmamma under a mistletoe too, on which the children clap their hands, and laugh very heartily, as do aunt George and uncle George; and grandmamma looks pleased, and says, with a benevolent smile, that grandpapa was an impudent young dog, on which the children laugh very heartily again, and grandpapa more heartily than any of them.

But all these diversions are nothing to the subsequent excitement when grandmamma in a high cap, and slate-coloured silk gown; and grandpapa with a beautifully plaited shirt-frill, and white neckerchief; seat themselves on one side of the drawing-room fire, with uncle George's children and little cousins innumerable, seated in the front, waiting the arrival of the expected visitors. Suddenly a hackney-coach is heard to stop, and uncle George, who has been looking out of the window, exclaims "Here's Jane!" on which the children rush to the door, and helter-skelter down-stairs; and uncle Robert and aunt Jane, and the dear little baby, and the nurse, and the whole party, are ushered up-stairs amidst tumultuous shouts of "Oh, my!" from the children, and frequently repeated warnings not to hurt baby from the nurse. And grandpapa takes the child, and grandmamma kisses her daughter, and the confusion of this first entry has scarcely subsided, when some other aunts and uncles with more cousins arrive, and the grown-up cousins flirt with each other, and so do the little cousins too, for that matter, and nothing is to be heard but a confused din of talking, laughing, and merriment.

A hesitating double knock at the street-door, heard during a momentary pause in the conversation, excites a general inquiry of "Who's that?" and two or three children, who have been standing at the window, announce in a low voice, that it's "poor aunt Margaret". Upon which, aunt George leaves the room to welcome the new-comer; and grandmamma draws herself up, rather stiff and stately; for Margaret married a poor man without her consent, and poverty not being a sufficiently weighty punishment for her offence, has been discarded by her friends, and debarred the society of her dearest relatives. But Christmas has come round, and the unkind feelings that have struggled against better dispositions during the year, have melted away before its genial influence, like half-formed ice beneath the morning sun. It is not difficult in a moment of angry feeling for a parent to denounce a disobedient child; but, to banish her at a period of general good-will and hilarity, from the hearth round which she has sat on so many anniversaries of the same day, expanding by slow degrees from infancy to girlhood, and then bursting, almost imperceptibly, into a woman, is widely different. The air of conscious rectitude, and cold forgiveness, which the old lady has assumed, sits ill upon her; and when the poor girl is led in by her sister, pale in looks and broken in hope – not from poverty, for that she could bear, but from the consciousness of undeserved neglect, and unmerited unkindness – it is easy to see how much of it is assumed. A momentary pause succeeds; the girl breaks suddenly from her sister and throws herself, sobbing, on her mother's neck. The father steps hastily forward, and takes her husband's hand. Friends crowd round to offer their hearty congratulations, and happiness and harmony again prevail.

As to the dinner, it's perfectly delightful – nothing goes wrong, and everybody is in the very best of spirits, and disposed to please and be pleased. Grandpapa relates a circumstantial account of the purchase of the turkey, with a slight digression relative to the purchase of previous turkeys, on former Christmas-days, which grandmamma corroborates in the minutest particular. Uncle George tells stories, and carves poultry, and takes wine, and jokes with the children at the side-table, and exhilarates everybody with his good humour and hospitality; and when, at last, a stout servant staggers in with a gigantic pudding, with a sprig of holly in the top, there is such a laughing, and shouting, and clapping of little chubby hands, and kicking up of fat dumpy legs, as can only be equalled by the applause with which the astonishing feat of pouring lighted brandy into mince–pies, is received by the younger visitors. Then the dessert! – and the wine! – and the fun! Such beautiful speeches, and such songs, from aunt Margaret's husband, who turns out to be such a nice man, and so attentive to grandmamma!

Even grandpapa not only sings his annual song with unprecedented vigour, but on being honoured with an unanimous encore, according to annual custom, actually comes out with a new one which nobody but grandmamma ever heard before; and a young scape-grace of a cousin, who has been in some disgrace with the old people, for certain heinous sins of omission and commission – neglecting to call, and persisting in drinking Burton Ale – astonishes everybody into convulsions of laughter by volunteering the most extraordinary comic songs that ever were heard. And thus the evening passes, in a strain of rational good-will and cheerfulness, doing more to awaken the sympathies of every member of the party in behalf of his neighbour, and to perpetuate their good feeling during the ensuing year, than half the homilies that have ever been written, by half the Divines that have ever lived.

This early essay by Dickens, published in 1835 when he was 22, depicts his perfect Christmas – and shows that many of the ideas behind A Christmas Carol (1843) were already in place. It was also reprinted in Sketches by Boz in 1836, a collection of his journalism that became an instant bestseller.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Parchman Hour - December 1st, 2012.

Arts and Entertainment

Tribute to Freedom Riders
‘The Parchman Hour’ dramatizes rights struggle

Published Wednesday, November 21, 2012 7:27 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

Acclaimed actor and playwright Mike Wiley has spent the last decade of his life working to fulfill his mission of bringing educational theatre to young audiences.

A scene from “The Parchman Hour,” which tells the story of the 1961 Freedom Riders.

He will be presenting one of his latest works, “The Parchman Hour,” at 8 p.m. on Dec. 1 at the Davis Theatre in Concord.

“The Parchman Hour” tells the story of the Freedom Riders of 1961, an interracial group of civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated South. The play is named after Parchman Farm, a penitentiary in Mississippi where a group of riders were arrested and imprisoned.

“It’s one of those old penitentiaries with a farm that you see on TV where they are wearing stripes and the guards are on horses,” says Wiley. “It was and still is one of the hardest penitentiaries in the country.”

While serving time, the Riders would keep their spirits up by singing freedom songs and entertain themselves by creating a fictional radio program, which is the basis for the play.

“Each cell had to contribute a short act,” recalls Freedom Rider Mimi Real, who served time in Parchman. She says the short acts typically consisted of singing a song, telling a joke or reading from the Bible – the only book the Riders were allowed to read while in prison.

“In between acts we had commercials for the products we lived with everyday, like the prison soap, the black-and-white striped skirts, or the awful food,” says Real. “We did this every evening, as I recall. It gave us something to do during the day, thinking up our cell’s act for the evening.”

Using the race rhetoric and soulful freedom songs of the 1960s, “The Parchaman Hour” encompasses the variety show theme, oral history and conversations from the Freedom Riders’ most iconic characters including Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy and Stokely Carmichael.

For tickets visit or call (704) 920-2753.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Compliment: War Bonds, Evans, GA


The Friday evening show was simply INCREDIBLE. Everyone, and I mean everyone, just loved the performance. Please keep us in mind when you are putting together future shows. I know the band members absolutely loved the evening and being a part of the performance. Take care and send my best to Serena and Julie.


Mike Deas
Augusta Amusements

Compliment/Suggestion: War Bonds, Augusta, GA

Dear Serena and David,

I am writing to express my sincere thanks for your War Bonds performance this past Friday night in Evans, GA.  Y'all were absolutely wonderful!  I am so thankful that I took my elderly parents to see the performance.

My mother's older brother was on an US Army troop ship just one day away from mainland Japan when Truman ordered the atomic bomb drop!

Could I make a suggestion though?  It would be awesome if y'all would recognize the veterans in your audiences.  Perhaps it should have been done by the promoter before the program began.  But, in my opinion, it would mean more if y'all incorporated it in your show. 

Again, y'all were spectacular and I hope that you'll be back again.  Having our native son Wycliffe Gordon perform with y'all was great, too!

Take care and best wishes!

Rick Ward

In One Era, And Out The Other

In One Era, And Out The Other

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Serena Ebhardt has it covered with IN ONE ERA, OUT THE OTHER!

In One Era and Out The Other
A Patriotic History of the United States From 1901 ~ 2001

Serena Ebhardt tells a story of the twentieth century through her patriotic prism. Through propaganda, politics, sex, race, religion, natural disasters, and popular culture, Americans remain free to choose life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. United we stand!

Contact your Alkahest representative for details.

Elizabeth Bridges
Phil Crabtree
Philip Moye

Compliment - War Bonds, Brunswick, GA

Thank you – our audience thoroughly enjoyed the show! And added bonus of discovering what a very small world we live in! So good to see you again Serena and wish you all great success in everything.

Will definitely consider future engagements!

Thanks again,

Heather Heath, Executive Director
Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association
Brunswick, GA

Night Before Christmas Carol - Missouri

The Night Before Christmas Carol
Location : KCC Auditorium
Start time : 12/19/2012 7:00 PM
End time : 12/19/2012 9:00 PM
Join Charles Dickens in his study for a very special night. On this evening in 1843, he creates his ghostly classic, "A Chirstmas Carol." David Zum Brunnen portrays Charles Dickens and 17 familiar characters from the famous story. It is historically accurate, highly humorous and full of holiday spirit.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $8 with a current KCC student ID

Tickets can be purchased at the first-floor reception desk on the KCC campus.

For more information contact Lindsey Fritz at 815-802-8628 or email
Expires: 12/19/2012 9:00 PM

Monday, November 12, 2012

Compliment: War Bonds, Averitt Center, Statesboro, GA

Hi Serena and David:

Just wanted to confirm with you how much we enjoyed War Bonds last Thursday night at the Averitt Center in Statesboro, GA. It was a wonderful production. I especially loved the music. The show was very inspirational. Thank you for coming to Statesboro.

Helen Jackie Yates

Compliment: War Bonds - from Wycliffe Gordon

Thanks again for your professionalism and joy that you all brought to many through memories and a stellar performance. It would be my pleasure to work with you guys anytime, and anywhere.

Take care and stay in touch,

Wycliffe Gordon

Thank YOU, Wycliffe!  What an honor to share your stage! - EbzB

Wrights of Passage - January 2013, Davie County Arts Council, Mocksville, NC

The arts council’s Arts in Education program continues into the New Year with all Fourth Grade students in the six elementary schools seeing a play about the historical aviation story of Orville and Wilbur Wright.  They will see a ten foot replica of the aviator’s early airplane being assembled as they visualize this historical moment in time.

For more information call the Davie County Arts Council at 336.751.3112.  Purchase your ticket(s) for any of the upcoming performances or events by calling the Box Office Monday-Friday from Noon until 5:00 p.m. (336-751-3000.)

Night Before Christmas Carol - Deceber 8, Davie County Arts Council, Mocksville, NC

December 8th will be a special time for anyone wanting to get into the Christmas spirit!  EbzB Productions will travel to Mocksville to perform their Night Before Christmas Carol which is a one-man play written by Dr. Elliot Engel as an adaptation of the Charles Dickens Christmas classic.  Your arts council has priced the tickets so that both young and old can enjoy the great performance (as performed by EbzB on PBS) during this busy time of the year without spending a great deal of money. For more information call the Davie County Arts Council at 336.751.3112.  Purchase your ticket(s) for any of the upcoming performances or events by calling the Box Office Monday-Friday from Noon until 5:00 p.m. (336-751-3000.)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

War Bonds - Averitt Center, Statesboro, GA


War Bonds: Songs and Letters of World War II Logos Visit Website
(912) 212 - ARTS
33 E. Main Street
Statesboro, GA 30458
Averitt Center for the Arts
War Bonds: Songs and Letters of World War II
Statesboro | Magnolia Midlands
Dates and times
  • November 8: 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM
  • Friends of the Arts: $10.00 - $22.00
  • Non-Members: $10.00 - $25.00
  • Parking: FREE

War Bonds - Douglas, GA

Posted on: October 10, 2012


In honor of Veteran’s Day, the City of Douglas, American Legion Post 18 and American Legion Post 515 have joined together to present War Bonds: The Songs and Letters of World War II. This performance will take place on Saturday, November 10, 2012, 4:00pm at the Martin Centre.

“We are especially happy about bringing this touching performance to Douglas in honor of our veterans,” says Georgia Henderson, Central Services Director. “Attendees can expect to travel back in time when the greatest generation was experiencing the atrocities of war. This family show is one that everyone can enjoy.”

War Bonds is a musical journey through a war that redefined the world. Using personal letters from the front and headline news of the period, award winning artists, David zum Brunnen and Serena Ebhardt fill the stage with wartime memories and sentimental tunes. For a complete playbill, go to

Advanced tickets are $7.00 and are on sale now. Tickets will be $10 at the door. Advanced tickets can be purchased at the Central Services Department located at 200 South Madison Avenue, or from Jerome Loving, Post 515, (912-592-6413), or Arnold Parsons, Post 18, (912-384-6852/389-6188).
Additional Info...

War Bonds - Calhoun, GA

War Bonds: The Songs & Letters of WWII

Family Event, and All Ages
  • When: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, 7:00 PM -
    Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, 9:00 PM
  • Where: Gem Theater
  • Location: 114 North Wall St
    Calhoun, GA 30701
  • Price: $5 - $15
  • Host: Fox Theatre Institute
  • Contact:
  • More Info:
“War Bonds” is a sentimental musical journey through a war that redefined the world. Award winning artists Serena Ebhardt and David zum Brunnen fill the stage with wartime memories and twenty-two nostalgic period tunes, creating a production that is a warm reminiscence and leaves audiences with smiles and tears. Brought to Calhoun by the Fox Theatre Institute.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students. On sale online at or at the GEM box office open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.