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Keeping the ‘Tradition’ alive: ‘Traditions of Christmas’ returns to CdA for the season

There will be live animals in the manger, dozens of performers, and a Rockettes-style kick line.

But fans of the annual “Traditions of Christmas” show in Coeur d’Alene can also expect something a little different.

“There’s always a change or two to keep it fresh,” said producer Laura Little in a news release.

Just don’t expect to know what the changes are ahead of time. Director Tyler Krieg said they like to save a few surprises for the audience.

“It’s the kind of show that is a tradition in itself,” Krieg said. “So you don’t want to change too much so that it becomes something that it’s not.”

One thing they can talk about is a shift this year to all live narration, provided by Kay Poland, Krieg said. “We’ll have a narrator on stage,” he said. “It’s not just coming over a track.”

Another new thing? Roughly half of the 65-person cast, Krieg said, which ranges in age from 7 to 80.

Back for sure is the USO segment, which has proven popular with the audience and cast members. Krieg, who is directing this year for the first time after two years as an assistant director and performer, really likes the USO segment, too.

“Not only is it powerful for the actors on stage, it’s really powerful for the audience,” Krieg said. “We salute all the armed forces, so each portion of the military stands up when we talk about their branch. That’s really cool for the actors and the audience.”

Now in its fifth year in Coeur d’Alene, “Traditions of Christmas” is an old-fashioned holiday variety show, with dancing, singing, skits and seasonal fun. Based on a long-running show in San Diego, “Traditions of Christmas” is launching in a third location this season: Nampa, Idaho, just outside Boise.

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