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"The Gift of The Magi"

Just in time for the start of the holiday season, Lake Cumberland Performing Arts in partnership with The Center for Rural Development presents the timeless Christmas classic, “The Gift of the Magi.”

This Children’s Prime Time Theatre holiday performance, based on a short story written by O. Henry, will be brought to stage on Monday, Nov. 28, at 7 p.m. immediately following The Center’s Spirit of Giving community tree-lighting ceremony, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m.

In this popular Christmas story, a young married couple, Della and Jim, discover the true joy of gift-giving and friendship as they struggle with how to deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with barely enough money to afford their one-room apartment.

“O. Henry’s classic tale of the wisest gifts of Christmas, presented by The Children’s Theatre from the Greater Cincinnati area, is a heart-warming story to share with those we love this holiday season,” said Dianna Winstead, associate director of arts, culture, and events at The Center. “Make plans to attend this Children’s Prime Time Theatre performance, as we kick off our season of holiday programming at The Center.”

Professional actors from the cast of “The Gift of the Magi” will greet the audience at the Spirit of Giving community tree-lighting event before they head back to their dressing rooms for the start of the evening’s performance.

In “The Gift of the Magi,” Della decides to buy her husband a chain for his prized pocket watch given to him by his father’s father. To raise the funds, she has her long, beautiful hair cut off and sold to make a wig.

Meanwhile, Jim decides to sell his watch to buy Della a beautiful set of combs made out of tortoiseshell and jewels for her lovely, knee-length brown hair. Each is surprised to find the Christmas gifts they chose rendered useless, yet each is pleased with the gifts that they received, because it represents their love for one another.

Prior to the performance, The Center will usher in the holiday season during a special night of family-oriented entertainment from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in its front lobby with a featured musical performance by the Bell Tones children’s choir from Wayne County and a visit from Santa Claus.

The Bell Tones, under the direction of Anita Carolyn Peters and Tammye Sumpter, will perform a selection of holiday music all leading up to the magical moment when the lights on The Center’s Christmas tree are turned on for the first time this season.

This group of second-, third-, and fourth-grade students at Bell Elementary School in Wayne County performs regularly at community and special events and has appeared at The Center’s annual tree-lighting ceremony for the last three years.

Free cookies and hot apple cider donated by Somerset Walmart will be served at a reception. Those present also will have a chance to win free show tickets from The Center and door prizes, such as a Walmart fruit basket and holiday gift basket prepared by The Center’s staff.

Tickets to the Children’s Prime Time Theatre performance of “The Gift of the Magi” are $4 each for children 12 and younger and $7 each for adults and children over the age of 12.

Click here to purchase tickets for “The Gift of the Magi,” or contact The Center’s Box Office at 606-677-6000.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, provides operating support to Lake Cumberland Performing Arts with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

These performances are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and Kentucky Arts Council.