Bethlehem, PA - Touchstone Theatre presents the latest in their Christmas City Follies series, the theatre's annual holiday-themed vaudeville show, filled with jolly mischief, merry melodies, and holiday cheer.

Christmas City Follies XVIII runs November 30 - December 22, 2017 at Touchstone's home theatre at 321 East Fourth Street in Southside Bethlehem.

A favorite of Lehigh Valley residents past and present, many locals and tourists alike have come to count Christmas City Follies as part of their holiday tradition, coming out to Touchstone's cozy black box theatre for an evening of original sketches, characters, songs, and more.

The show traditionally ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous— last year's show included a talking pickle ornament, Santa's prodigal brother, and a host of personal stories from the cast about their favorite Christmas presents of yore.

Jp Jordan, Touchstone artistic director, has served as ringleader of the Christmas City Follies cast for the last ten years.

"A decade, huh? Do I get some kind of award for this, maybe a fancy set of jingle bells?" quips Jordan.

"While we've certainly seen reoccurring ideas pop up over the years, it truly amazes me how deep this well is— it continues to feel fresh for both our performers and audiences."

Rehearsals for the show began in early October. So far, proposed scenes have included returning characters, like Touchstone founder Bill George's cantankerous persona "The Old Guy" running for office and Mary Wright's silent clown "Little Red" looking for love.

The cast of actor-creators has also been exploring a host of new scenes, songs, and characters, including tributes to their personal cultural heritage and Christmas through the ages.

"There's much to say about the holidays because more than any other time of year our senses and emotions can become overwhelmed with the memories of a lifetime of holiday's lived, and, quite simply, the spectacle of it all," continues Jordan. "The season, in many ways, highlights what it is to be human."

On display in the Touchstone Gallery, an exhibit of glass artwork and photography titled "exiSt - exit" accompanies the show, created by Draga Šušanj, a Catskill, NY-based studio artist whose work has been exhibited throughout the United States as well as in her hometown of Belgrade, Serbia.

Her work is in permanent collections of the Museum of American Glass (NJ) and MOMA. Šušanj's bicultural experiences inform her project based environmental practice. Her careful and joyous approach is evident in her work's lush colors and intricate designs, all inspired by natural forms and surfaces.

Additionally, for the second year running, Fig— a hyper-local, super-social magazine all about Bethlehem— is joining in on the Follies fun by hosting a preshow party on December 2nd from 6:30-8pm.

Since Fig Bethlehem features all things art, dining, shopping, and entertainment, audiences who arrive early for the party can expect to enjoy a festive time, with food, music, and a chance to win a Bethlehem-centric basket of joy.

Christmas City Follies is sponsored by Peoples Security Bank and Trust; the show receives additional support from First Generation and the County of Northampton. Touchstone's season is supported locally by season sponsor RCN. WDIY provides media sponsorship, and Working Dog Press provides print sponsorship.

Christmas City Follies XVIII plays November 30-December 22, 2017, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm; in addition to these regularly scheduled performances, there will also be performances Sundays 12/10 and 12/17 at 7pm and Wednesday 12/20 at 8pm.

Tickets are $25 for adults / $15 for students and seniors, with group rates available on request.

On Thursdays, Touchstone offers a pay-what-you-will ticket option at the door, as available, allowing walkup patrons to name their own ticket price. Advance tickets may be purchased at 610.867.1689 or online at The Touchstone Café is open one hour before show time and at intermission, with pastries and gourmet coffee by Nazca K-Fé Premium Peruvian Coffee available for purchase.