Many people know the O. Henry story, "The Gift of the Magi." But few know the story of O. Henry himself. Texas' Lyric Stage hopes to rectify that with a holiday presentation of the world premiere musical, A Christmas to Remember, running Dec. 2-16 at the Irving Arts Center.
A North Carolinian who lived most of his life in and around Austin, Texas, Porter had a difficult time of it, marred by the death of his wife from consumption and a prison term for embezzeling funds from the First National Bank of Austin. Through these trials, he emerged as the writer, O. Henry, the best-loved American short story writer of his time. When he died an alcoholic in 1910, he left behind "A Retrieved Reformation," "The Ransom of Red Chief" and "The Caballero's Way," among 300 other tales.
Kevin Varner stars as O. Henry. Also in the cast are Jennifer Freeman (Henry's wife, Emma), Pamela Peadon (Mrs. Roche), Lana Whittington (Henry's daughter Margaret, age 7), Carrie Hickman (Margaret, age 17), Kristina Baker, Shane Hurst, Stacy Oristano, Rick Prada, Louis Sonnier, Julie Stirman, Gary Taggart and Jay Taylor.
Tickets are $22-$20. The Irving Arts Center's Dupree Theater is located at 3333 North MacArthur Bouldevard. For reservations, call (972) 252 2787.
— By Christine Ehren