Importance of family lifts Tyler Civic Theatre's 'Christmas Belles'

Published on Thursday, 7 December 2017 17:15 - Written by

LURAE STOKES, Correspondent

The residents of Fayro, Texas, are putting on a Christmas program - or at least trying to. With a kidney stone-passing Santa, bickering sisters, grudge-holding sheep and the previous play director who keeps popping up unannounced, there is no shortage of drama.

It’s all part of “Christmas Belles,” the comedy being staged by Tyler Civic Theatre.

“Christmas Belles’ is about second chances and really realizing what the Christmas season is all about, as opposed to all of the flash and dazzle that it sometimes is,” Director Danielle Rousseau said.

Regina Money plays Honey Raye Futrelle, one of the sisters at the heart of the story.

Honey Raye instigates most of the chaos, Money said.

“She has had problems with her reputation in the past and is trying to redeem herself by putting on a Christmas program,” she said.

The only problem is that Honey has “brought along all of her worldliness with her and she wants to make the play look like Hollywood,” Money added.

Although self-centered, Honey Raye means no harm unless someone messes with her sisters, Twink, Frankie and Rhonda Lynn.

“Christmas Belles” is the second of three plays by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten featuring the Futrelle sisters. Also in the trilogy are “Dearly Beloved” and “Southern Hospitality.”

It continues some of the story introduced in “Dearly Beloved,” said Producer Sherri Priest, who also plays a socialite whose true self emerges after she pops a few pain pills.

“The writers (of the plays) used to write for TV sitcoms, so they have some really fine, quick one-liners,” Priest said.

Frankie Futrelle “is like the mama (of the sisters),” said Traci Smith, who plays her. “She tries to take care of everybody.”

In her 40s, Frankie, is overdue to give birth to her second set of twins.

“She’s hormonal and fed up with her crazy sisters,” Smith said.

But no matter how crazy her sisters are, Frankie always takes up for them, Smith said.

“This play will make you laugh and you’ll see your relatives in the characters and how being around your family during the holidays is sometimes too much,” she said. “It’s just a fun show.”


Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Dec. 14-16 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 17 at the theater, 400 Rose Park Drive. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online at