Now that the leaves are falling, the holidays won't be far behind. It's not too early to mark the calendars for a holiday show coming to SUNY Fredonia's Williams Center for two performances. "The Twelve Dates of Christmas" by playwright Ginna Hoben is a holiday comedy for grown-ups, and is sure to get its audience into the spirit of the season. The performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9 and 10.
Karen Volpe, Los Angeles actress and SUNY alumna, is returning to Fredonia to perform "The Twelve Dates of Christmas," directed by SUNY Professor Emeritus Mary Charbonnet. This hilarious and moving play is about a single gal who finds herself dumped by her fiance just as the holidays are beginning. Dealing with embarrassment, anger, loneliness and a parade of possible (and impossible) replacements - not to mention her well-intentioned but clueless family members - she endeavors to discover what it will take to fill that now-empty space inside.
Volpe, a talented actress of the LA theatrical scene, will arrive on campus following acclaimed lead performances in "Little Shop of Horrors" and "The Pajama Game," for which she won Best Actress awards. Also this year, her performance as Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl" wowed West Coast critics and audiences alike.
SUNY Fredonia alumna Karen Volpe, now an actress living in Los Angeles, will return to the college’s Williams Center to perform in a “The Twelve Dates of Christmas.”
After earning her bachelor of fine arts degree in musical theatre, Volpe continued to hone her comic acting skills at The Second City in Toronto and Chicago. She went on to appear in "Tony n' Tina's Wedding," "Nunsense," "Oklahoma!" "The Taffetas" and many other shows, including the national tour of Schoolhouse Rock Live! She brought to life the lead role of Gilda Radner in "Bunny, Bunny, Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy" benefiting Gilda's Club in Western New York and recently performed alongside Broadway stars Adam Pascal, Cady Huffman and Shirley Jones in the new musical "The Real Love" at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
Volpe is a writer/producer/performer with The Movie Guys Live! at The Second City Hollywood and was invited to perform at The Comedy Central Stage in LA. She can be heard weekly on ToadHopNetwork.com as part of The Movie Guys' Live! Podcast. She has also just released "Dinner and A Fancy Dress," her first country music album.
Stage director Charbonnet retired in 2006 after 17 years on the faculty of the Department of Theatre and Dance. She has done "a bit" of acting and directing since moving to her mountain home in western North Carolina, but spends most of her time hiking with her two dogs and learning to paint.
"But," she says, "when I was introduced to the script for 'The Twelve Dates of Christmas,' I immediately knew it was perfect for Karen's special talents."
Tickets are $15 general admission and $7 for students (with ID), and are available at the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office or by calling 673-3501.