published Thursday, November 28th, 2013

‘Waltons’-inspired play continues at Dalton Little Theatre - Dec. 6-7

Clay and Olivia and their brood of seven children are the characters at the center of the drama “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” at the Dalton Little Theatre.
Clay and Olivia and their brood of seven children are the characters at the center of the drama “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” at the Dalton Little Theatre.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

* What: “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story.”

* When: 7 p.m. today, Saturday and Dec. 6-7; 2 p.m. Sunday.

* Where: Dalton Little Theatre, 210 N. Pentz St., Dalton, Ga.

* Admission: $15 adults, $12 seniors/DLT members, $10 students, $5 ages 12-under.

* Phone: 706-226-6618.

* Website: www.daltonlittletheatre.com.

Jeff Adair made a promise to his mama. And what, after all, is more sacred?

The Dalton Little Theatre Board of Directors president and veteran director told her years ago he one day would direct “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story,” a television movie his family watched together annually since it first aired on Dec. 19, 1971.

Given his promise and the theater’s “Homecoming Season” theme, the play based on the movie that inspired the long-running television series “The Waltons” will continue this weekend and next.

The 1971 television movie and series, created by Earl Hamner Jr., were inspired by his book, “Spencer’s Mountain,” and a 1963 film of the same name.

It focuses on a family — husband, wife and seven children — in a rural Virginia community during the Great Depression and later during World War II and is loosely based on the author’s rural childhood in Virginia.

The play is set at Christmas 1933, when the husband who has found work more than 50 miles away is expected home for the holiday. When he is not home at midnight, the family’s eldest son is sent out to search for him.

Indeed, the names of the characters in the theatre’s production are those in the original book, though they correspond with those in “The Homecoming” movie and “The Waltons” television series.

Instead of John and Olivia and their children, John-Boy, Jason, Mary Ellen, Erin, Ben, Jim-Bob and Elizabeth, the family is Clay and Olivia, Clay Boy, Becky, Matthew Mark, Shirley, Luke, John and Pattie Cakes. Other oft-appearing characters in the series, Ike Godsey and the Baldwin sisters, are also in the production, though the latter’s names are different.

The cast of 33 is led by Jim Kirk (Clay, the father), Nancy Broussard (Olivia, the mother) and Macavan Kalafut (Clay Boy).

Contact Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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