By Wendy Rose
The holiday season is always filled with delightful shows and events centred around Christmas and all the joy and
fun that comes with it. This year, Spirit of Newfoundland has outdone themselves with their new holiday show,
For Lease Navidad.
Having premiered in mid November,
For Lease Navidad
has been among audiences hit for over a month now. With shows running until January 7, there’s still time to take in the fun show co-written by Spirit of Newfoundland’s Peter Halley, Sheila Williams and Keith Power.
chatted with Power, Williams and singer/actress Janet Cull to learn more about the holiday spectacle.
“The story follows the troubles of a diner and the musical family that owns it,” Power explained. “(Matriarch) Doreen
breaks the news to her working and singing children in front of their audience as well as a strange man who has found his way to the diner,” he said. “A night of comedy and music, with a few appearances from the gossipy neighbours, ensures that the audience
is well entertained while the family searches for their miracle.”
“We wrote the show with a full cast in mind, which is why we can all be featured to our strengths in performance,”
Power continued. “The cast consists of eight people who alternate nights to fill out the five person cast. The show features Peter Halley, Sheila Williams, Keith Power, Michael Power, Kara Noftle, Janet Cull, Natalie Noseworthy and John Williams, with a dynamite
band: Evan Smith, Bill Brennan, Paul Boomer Stamp and Frank Fusari.”
Sheila Williams has been with Spirit of Newfoundland since 1997 – nearly 20 years of shows under her belt. She told
us more about her character, Doreen.
“My character is very similar to our mothers,” Williams began. “She is in a little trouble now, but as Christmas
miracles abound, I’m certain she will persevere and come out on top. We would be tremendous friends in real life, as she is affable and funny with a hint of clever sarcasm. She’s full of life and the true matriarch of the family.”
Janet Cull also provided details on her character, Betty, with whom she shares a number of personality traits.
“Betty is Doreen’s (owner of the diner) daughter. One of Doreen’s three kids. Her dream is to be a beautician but
she’s been working at the diner since she was a little girl,” Cull explained. “There are definitely elements of my own personality in this character. Like Betty, I’m a dreamer! Someone with a lot of drive and ambition to succeed. Betty is loving but also tells
you like it is. Much like myself,” she said with a laugh.
Having attended the show on opening night, this writer can attest to the fact that the actors are perfectly cast
in their roles. A night full of great food and good, hearty laughs, For Lease Navidad
is well worth the ticket price – and then some!
“The show is going absolutely fantastic! It is sold out until January but there are a few tables available after
the new year. It’s never too late,” Power said, referring to the limited seating due to the show’s overwhelming popularity. “Everyone should experience Spirit of Newfoundland, especially at Christmas. Come in for a magnificent meal, delicious drinks and excellent
entertainment. Who knows – we might even pull you up onstage!”
Williams backed Power up with another tempting invite: “This show will allow you an opportunity to become immersed
in the miracles of Christmas which we too often lose sight of. Come out and let us sweep you away in a night of laughter, heartwarming Christmas music and joy.”
Spirit of Newfoundland’s
For Lease Navidad
runs until January 7 at the Masonic Temple in St. John’s.