J.R. Sullivan’s Hometown Holiday Redux: Holiday Inspiration Wins The Day
In 2019, GrahamSpencer helped brand, promote and celebrate the 25th and final performance of J.R. Sullivan’s Hometown Holiday on the Sullivan Stage of the RPL Nordlof Center in downtown Rockford. Dubbed The Final Curtain, the show followed J.R. ‘s beloved pattern of creating fresh, seasonal material each year in a Prairie Home Companion-like cornucopia of popular songs, bespoke comedy and heartwarming storytelling. As in many previous years, GrahamSpencer leaned into its promotion with vigor.
“We’ve had a long, productive relationship with J.R. and the show,” said GS Founder and Co-Creative Director, Jay Graham. “We’re proud that Rockford’s Real, Original Father Christmas considers our team part of his. And to be honest, we’ve missed our seasonal collaborations after the Final Curtain in 2019. It’s an annual highlight.”
In the wake of that last show, a veritable avalanche of requests to restore Hometown Holiday to Rockford’s cultural landscape commenced. In 2023, J.R. awoke from his long winters’ nap to once again assemble his cast of legendary performers to ignite his beloved hometown’s holiday spirit.
Within a week of introducing and promoting J.R. Sullivan’s 2023 Hometown Holiday Redux, the show sold out, leaving many surprised revelers at the door with no tickets in hand. J.R. made an effort to book an extra night on the Sullivan Stage of the RPL Nordlof Center, but the theater was already booked.
Then, he called us in for a huddle. We searched for a way to include more patrons, but there didn’t seem to be enough time. In a stroke of Christmas-spirited inspiration and efficiency, we hit on the idea of opening up Friday afternoon’s Final Dress Rehearsal as a unique, ticketed matinee experience.
What a special way to experience the homemade, heartwarming magic of song and theatrical revelry that is Hometown Holiday: J.R. Sullivan’s Hometown Holiday Redux Final Dress Rehearsal Matinee!
“An excellent instance of problem solving,” said Sullivan, “albeit a fortunate one – using an asset we didn’t realize we had: the afternoon Dress Rehearsal. Opening the dress rehearsal doors is a first for ‘Hometown Holiday’ but the idea appealed to us all and so now it’s in the plan, on the schedule, and away we go! We’re so happy to invite in more audience members.”
If you don’t already have Friday evening tickets for Hometown Holiday Redux, we encourage you to see it with a little less varnish at the Final Dress Rehearsal Matinee at 2:00 PM Friday, December 8 at The RPL Nordlof Center downtown. Tickets are available online at Evenbrite or in person at J. R. Kortman Center for Design. You’ll enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see how the Christmas sausage is made by the legendary J.R. Sullivan and his gifted, merry band of elves!
Those who would like to view a collection of GrahamSpencer’s previous Hometown Holiday branding, web and advertising work, please click here. For an in-depth look at the production of 2019’s Final Curtain effort, click here.
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