Ocean City Today
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‘Brian’s Christmas Songbook’ show at Performing Arts Ctr.

By Katie Tabeling | Nov 30, 2017

(Dec. 1, 2017) Tony Christ hopes to inspire Worcester County’s children to say no to heroin with “Brian’s Christmas Songbook” show at the Performing Arts Center this Sunday.

“Lectures aren’t working. Children’s minds are like sponges, and I know I still hum songs from ‘Oklahoma!’ today,” Christ said. “The idea is, if you deliver a message through music, emotionally touch these kids, it’ll stick with them.”

“Brian’s Christmas Songbook” is based off a holiday album that Christ and several local musicians produced last year. It includes traditional carols such as “Mary Did You Know” and “O Holy Night,” and other songs with religious undertones like Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and the Byrds’ “Turn, Turn, Turn.”

Christ will narrate the story of Jesus Christ’s birth, while local musician Lauren Glick and the Mid-Atlantic Symphony perform on stage.

Atlantic General Hospital CEO Michael Franklin will also speak to children of the perils of opioid use toward the end of the concert.

“Brian’s Christmas Songbook” show and album were named after Christ’s son, who died from a drug overdose in 2004. Christ sees the show as a different way to combat opioid addiction: use music, not scare tactics, to speak to children before they encounter drugs.

“We’re using Brian’s voice from the grave, through music, to give these kids the conviction in the future to don’t do heroin, don’t even touch it,” he said. “If it stops one child from doing it, then it’s all worth it.”

Christ and the convention center staff donated hundreds of tickets to Worcester Preparatory School and other area schools. The show is free, but attendees need a ticket to be admitted. An open dress rehearsal will be earlier in the day, and students are invited to attend.

“Even if they don’t have a ticket and they show up at noon, we’ll work to get them a seat,” Christ said.

“Brian’s Christmas Songbook” will have two shows in the Performing Arts Center on 40th Street inside the Ocean City convention center on Dec. 3 – the open dress rehearsal at noon and the show at 4 p.m.

To contact Christ, call 202-641-6166.

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