Burien playwright and bluegrass professional, Ricky Gene Powell, and Burien author and musician, formerly of Alki, Paul Carr, collaborated on Carr's Christmas book "Santa's First Magical Ride" resulting in a musical to open Dec. 7 at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, West Seattle.

Former Alki author's "Santa's First Magical Ride" opens as a musical Dec. 7 at Youngstown Center

The Christmas book with accompanying CD, "Santa's First Magical Ride" was released last holiday season by Burien residents Paul and Libby Carr, featuring world-class illustrator Herb Leonhard of Prosser, WA. Paul was the author, while Libby has been marketing the book. The story offers an explanation of "Where was Santa born, and why the elves live in the North Pole? How do the reindeer fly? How do you get all those toys in your sack? And How do you get around the world in just one night?”

Since the popular book's release, Burien playwright and local bluegrass professional, Ricky Gene Powell, and Paul collaborated to turn the book into a bluegrass musical, “Santa’s First Magical Ride: the Musical”, a stage play with an experienced cast performing. They include Tallboys rhythm band member Charmaine Slaven who many here have seen "buck dancing" (like Appalachian clog dancing) while playing guitar. Cast member Eric Pope, who plays the Kril Elf King, is known in these parts as the founder of the ghoulishly popular Fremont Zombie March, and is the tall guy who leads the march holding an American flag.

Elijah Williams, 16, of Burien, plays Young Santa. He started acting at age 6 in the "Music Man".  Over the last 10 years he’s been in four major plays at the 5th Ave Theatre, "Wizard of Oz", "Whistle Down the Wind", "Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat", and "Oklahoma".

The Carrs, formerly of Alki, are well-known in this area, in part, for their work in establishing the new Statue of Liberty and Plaza there. Perhaps less known is that this creative duet adopted the Santa & Mrs. Claus persona for many a Christmas.

"These are the questions we all wanted to know as kids, but no one could tell us any good answers,' said Libby, of the theme. "These questions are answered in this great new musical with bluegrass flavored music. It’s guaranteed to have you toe-tappin’ with the Elves in no time.

Performances are at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center theatre, 4408 Delridge Way SW, in West Seattle.

Opening Night is Friday, Dec 7 at 7:00 PM. The play runs on these weekends Dec 7 -9, Dec 14 – 16 & Dec 21 - 23 with Fri/Sat 7PM evening shows and Sat/Sun 2PM Matinees. All tickets are $15.00. Ticket sales are being handled by www.brownpapertickets.com or call 800-838-3006.

Libby Carr, the musical's producer, offers a ticket special geared toward birthday & Christmas gift-givers. Buy 10 tickets ($15.00 each – all ages except on-the-lap babies) and get the next two free of charge. Each guest can buy their own, or you buy it and get reimbursed. The party planner is welcome to bring a cake for sharing afterwards.  Call Libby to make the free reservations at 206-938-8721. Consider giving this musical theatre experience as a valued Christmas present. 

Also, you can find the book on Amazon here.

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