‘Chili Country Christmas’ to star Harrell

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 15, 2014

For nearly two years now, Michael Reno Harrell’s ticket has been punched for the We Piddle Around Theater at Christmastime.

Harrell will be the featured storyteller at the Brundidge Historical Society’s “Chili Country Christmas” on December 4 and 5.

Harrell is a master storyteller, singer and songwriter from the mountains of Western North Carolina. He first performed at the Brundidge Historical Society’s Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival in January 2011. He was back at the Festival in 2013 by popular demand.

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This holiday season, Harrell will be back piddling around at the We Piddle Around Theater as the featured performer for the Chili Country Christmas supper, stories and songs holiday event.

Lawrence Bowden, BHS president, said Harrell has agreed to tell “The Sledding Shepherds” story both nights.

“He told that story at one of our storytelling festivals and the audience couldn’t stop laughing,” Bowden said. “It’s one of the funniest Christmastime stories I’ve heard.”

At the Chili Country Christmas storytelling, Harrell will perform “Christmas Down South,” which is filled with stories and songs that will tickle your funny bone and also bring a few salty tears to your eyes, Bowden said.

Whether or not you have the good fortune to have been raised southern, you’ll enjoy the down-home humor of Michael Reno Harrell, Bowden said.

“If your family’s Christmas ornament box contained a least one can of fake snow, you’ll have a great time with Michael Reno Harrell at the We Piddle Around Theater. Come prepared to laugh a lot and maybe get a little misty eyed and come prepared for a great night of seasonal stories and songs.”

Harrell is a natural storyteller. His credits include being a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival and Teller In Residence at the International Storytelling Center as well as being invited to share his talents at major festivals across the United States and the British Isles.

Bowden said Michael Reno Harrell is yet another in a long line of storytellers and performers who have made Chili Country Christmas at the We Piddle Around Theater a holiday tradition for many.

Andy Offutt Irwin, Sheila Kay Adams, Kathryn Tucker Windham, Donald Davis, Barbara Bates-Smith, Delores Hydock and Bobby Horton are among those who have appeared at Chili Country Christmas.

“That reads like a who’s who among storytellers, and we are proud to add Michael Reno Harrell to that list,” Bowden said. “And, as always, the Benton Brothers and Company will entertain at the pre-show. The Benton Brothers are our featured pre-show entertainment at the We Piddle Around Theater and they are worth the price of admission.”

Tickets for Chili Country Christmas Thursday and Friday, Dec. 4 and 5 are $20 each and includes the pre-show, a homemade chili supper with all the trimmings and a holiday dessert. Show time is 6:30 p.m.

For tickets, call 685-5524 or 372-1001.