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Travolta brings third Christmas show to Coeur d’Alene

Ellen Travolta once again will produce an original holiday show at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

“Christmas With Friends” will star Travolta’s husband, Jack Bannon, along with longtime Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre performers Mark Cotter and Laura Sable. The show will be directed by Roger Welch, former CST artistic director.

This marks the third year Travolta has produced a holiday for the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Last year’s show, “I Remember Christmas,” featured Travolta and Bannon, joined by Travolta’s sister Margaret and Seattle actress Katie Strohmaier, in an evening of songs and Travolta family stories.

Cotter has performed his cabaret show at the Lincoln Center and at Broadway’s famed Town Hall. Sable was last heard in the Spokane area singing with her old pal Cheyenne Jackson at his homecoming show in 2014. Bannon, a veteran stage and TV actor, is fondly remembered for his work on the TV series “Lou Grant.”

Opening night will be Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving, and coincides with the annual parade and tree lighting ceremony in downtown Coeur d’Alene. The show runs through Dec. 20. Tickets go on sale Monday through the resort’s concierge office, or online at cdachristmas.com. Tickets are $27.50 each.

Travolta, part II

While Travolta won’t appear in “Christmas With Friends,” she will be onstage on Nov. 6 in a benefit for the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation.

“Then & Now: A Retro Evening of Sitcom Memories” will also feature Stephen Shortridge, a Coeur d’Alene painter and gallery owner who used to be a Hollywood actor, and Molly Allen, Travolta’s daughter and morning show co-host on KZZU 92.9 FM.

Travolta’s and Shortridge’s screen credits first intersect at “Welcome Back, Kotter,” where she did three episodes as Arnold Horshack’s mother, and he came on in the fourth season to replace John Travolta. But they first worked together after that, on the pilot for a sitcom starring Marie Osmond. The show didn’t get picked up, but Travolta found the episode in her archive and will screen it during the program.

Shortridge also starred in “Aloha Paradise” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and did guest shots on “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” St. Elsewhere,” “Murder, She Wrote” and the “The Fall Guy,” among other TV shows. His last acting credit was in 1989’s “Say Anything,” playing Ray, the boyfriend of Ione Skye’s mother.

While he’s retired from acting, Shortridge has a successful career as a painter, and he owns the Shortridge Fine Art gallery in downtown Coeur d’Alene.

The doors will open at 6:30, and there will be a no-host bar. The event will be in the library’s Community Room, on the lower level. Tickets are $25, and are available by calling (208) 769-2380 or by email at cdalibraryfoundation@gmail.com.


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