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Alabama Theatre in North Myrtle Beach keeps entertainment fresh and family-friendly

Coastal living, if possible, should always be relaxing and revitalizing.

Thankfully, the Cottages at North Beach Plantation easily achieve both. Located in North Myrtle Beach, the Cottages at North Beach Plantation provide luxurious accommodations within a 60-acre master-planned oceanfront community. You can pamper yourself to a hot rock massage at The Cinzia Spa or enjoy the laidback fun of the indoor pool and lazy river. Here, you will discover there is a range of pleasures in which you can partake.

North Myrtle Beach is known as a travel destination that provides stellar recreation for vacationers regardless of where they are from on the globe. Many travelers to the city end up making a stop to Alabama Theatre, which is less than two miles away from North Beach Plantation.

Without a doubt, the theatre is one of the most popular on the Grand Strand and draws diverse audiences in search of rousing, family-friendly entertainment.

Alabama Theatre, which was founded in 1993 by Alabama, is home to two, distinct shows – “One,” and “The South’s Grandest Christmas Show.” In addition, the theatre hosts a variety of artists throughout the year when one of its productions is on hiatus.  The performers who have graced the theatre’s stage include The Four Tops, The Temptations, Randy Travis, Bill Cosby and Smokey Robinson.

Bob Wood, president of Alabama Theatre, said the in-house productions stay fresh because each year the shows are tweaked. Back in 2011, about 75 percent of the “One” show was changed.

“We will open the ‘One’ show on February 7, 2013,” Wood said. “We will change 40 to 50 percent of the show. Several of the big productions have changed. The comedian is always changing his comedy. We will have five new cast members next year (in the “One” show).”

“One” is a high-octane odyssey showcasing some of America’s best music including gospel, jazz and Broadway show tunes.

From now until December 31, however, Alabama Theatre will put on its annual presentation of “The South’s Grandest Christmas Show.”  The production features about 25 to 30 cast members singing and dancing to traditional as well as original songs.

Wood said the show appeals to a wide scope of audiences, regardless of age. He described several scenes that are a part of the two-hour Christmas musical drama.

“We do different parts of the show, depending upon the sets,” Wood said. “We have a village scene and in it we do a lot of caroling. And then the set switches to a toyshop scene with Christmas music for kids. Then, we have a scene that is set in a family home.”

One of the most stirring scenes of “The South’s Grandest Christmas Show” is when featured vocalist Denise Tichenor Collins sings “Mary, Did You Know?”

“It is an unbelievable moment,” Wood said.

Giant talent dominates “The South’s Grandest Christmas Show” and “One” from start to finish and attracts people from around the Carolinas and beyond.

“We get a lot of group business,” Wood said. “We get a lot of church groups.”

No matter where travelers come from, they witness performances of multifaceted artists including Grant Turner and Gail Bliss.

Turner plays the hilarious stagehand named Ricky Mokel in the shows. Mokel is Turner’s alter ego of sorts.

“I think Ricky is who I was supposed to be until I was 5 years old and hit my face on a brick flower bed,” Turner said via the theatre’s website. “I was different after that. But now I’m Ricky again.”

In addition to being a part of “One,” Gail Bliss is the featured performer of “A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline Starring Gail Bliss.”

Bliss, an Oregon native, sounds uncannily like the late country icon, Patsy Cline. Even Cline’s widower, Charlie Dick, has said, according to the theatre’s website, “She’s the best I’ve ever seen.”

“A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline Starring Gail Bliss” will be held at 7 p.m. from Jan. 18 to Jan. 19. Ticket prices from $29.95 to $39.95.

If you go:
What: Alabama Theatre (at Barefoot Landing)
Where: 4750 U.S. 17 S., North Myrtle Beach, S.C. 29582
Tickets: Prices vary. Call the box office for schedule of upcoming shows and concerts.
Information: Call 1-800-342-2262, 1-843-272-1111 or visit
Directions from the Cottages at North Beach Plantation: Start going northwest on Diane Circle toward Airport Boulevard. Turn left on Airport Boulevard. Turn left onto 33rd Ave. S. Take the second right on North Kings Highway/U.S. 17. Alabama Theatre will be on the right.

Posted 12/11/12

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