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Looking for Christmas

November 13 – December 16, 2018
(Opening night: Tuesday, November 20)

Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center

World premiere
Music and lyrics by Clint Black
Book by James D. Sasser with Clint Black
Based on an idea by James D. Sasser and Clint Black
Music supervision by Charles Vincent Burwell
Directed by Kent Nicholson

A world premiere American musical about family, loyalty, and the magic of Christmas from country music legend Clint Black, inspired by his 1995 chart-topping holiday album. Amid the commotion of the holidays, Staff Sergeant Mike Randolf returns from Afghanistan and home to his family. But before Mike can open his heart to the joy and spirit of the season, he must make peace with the past and let go the ghosts of the battlefield. While Mike’s wife helps him readjust to civilian life, it’s their precocious young daughter’s sweet search for the true meaning of Christmas that leads the family toward healing. This heartwarming musical is sure to become an enduring holiday classic.


Publicity Photos

Clint Black. Photo by Kevin Mazur.
Clint Black. Photo by Kevin Mazur.
James D. Sasser
James D. Sasser. Photo courtesy of The Old Globe.
Charles Vincent Burwell
Charles Vincent Burwell. Photo courtesy of The Old Globe.
Kent Nicholson
Kent Nicholson. Photo courtesy of The Old Globe.

Cast and Creative


Clint Black (Music and Lyrics, Book, Original Idea, Looking for Christmas) has one of the most storied careers in modern music. He surged to superstardom as part of the fabled “Class of ’89,” reaching No. 1 with five consecutive singles from his triple-Platinum debut, Killin’ Time. He followed that with the triple-Platinum Put Yourself in My Shoes, and then a string of Platinum and Gold albums throughout the ’90s. Perhaps most impressively, Mr. Black wrote or co-wrote every one of his more than three dozen chart hits, including “A Better Man,” “Where Are You Now,” “When My Ship Comes In,” “A Good Run of Bad Luck,” “Summer’s Comin’,” “Like the Rain,” and “Nothin’ But the Taillights,” part of a catalog that produced 22 No. 1 singles and made him one of the most successful singer/songwriters of the modern era. Along the way, Mr. Black has sold over 20 million records; earned more than a dozen Gold and Platinum awards in the U.S. and Canada; landed nearly two dozen major awards and nominations, including more than a dozen Grammy Award nominations; and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

James D. Sasser (Book, Original Idea, Looking for Christmas) has had a performance career spanning Broadway and Off Broadway, to opera and concert stages around the world, and he has been involved for two decades in the development of dozens of new musical works on both sides of the table as an actor, writer, and producer. He has worked with organizations ranging from Riverdance to Sundance, Jesus Christ Superstar to Forbidden Broadway, and theatre outfits including Ars Nova, Manhattan Theatre Club, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, New Dramatists, Vineyard Theatre, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Playwrights Horizons, and many more. With writing partner Charles Vincent Burwell, their musicals include CUBAMOR, Bottle Shock (based on the hit cult wine film), and the forthcoming Black Count. CUBAMOR had its developmental premiere at Village Theatre’s Beta Series and was an official selection of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s New Works Festival. Bottle Shock has been presented at the Napa Valley Film Festival, Ars Nova, and Z Space, and it is gearing up for its premiere in the Bay Area. Mr. Sasser and Mr. Burwell’s songs have been heard at Lincoln Center, 54 Below, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, Ars Nova, A Little New Music in L.A., Feinstein’s at the Nikko in San Francisco, and other venues on both coasts.

Charles Vincent Burwell (Music Supervision, Looking for Christmas) is an award-winning performing multi-instrumentalist and composer in both the theatrical and dance worlds. Organizations he has worked with include the Lincoln Center Institute, New York City Center, Institute for Dunham Technique Certification, Trenton Education Dance Institute, National Dance Institute, Urban Bush Women, Festival del Caribe in Cuba, Ilê Aiyê in Brazil, Bates Dance Festival, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Mr. Burwell has composed music for Cairo Opera House Ballet and Modern Dance Theatre Company, and National Dance Institute under the artistic direction of Jacques d’Amboise in China, and he has sung at Carnegie Hall. He has served as musician and teaching artist for National Dance Institute, associate musical director for the Trenton Education Dance Institute, and longtime member of the faculty and music staff at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. His music was featured in the HBO documentary Jacques D’Amboise in China: The Other Side of the World directed by Anthony Avildsen. Mr. Burwell is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild of America and Local 802 AFM, a charter member of the Omicron Gamma Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Professional Music Fraternity, and a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program.

Kent Nicholson (Director, Looking for Christmas) has had a hand in nearly three decades of new-work development on both coasts with pioneering organizations such as Playwrights Horizons and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. His New York directing credits include 9 Circles (Sheen Center), Long Story Short (Prospect Theater Company), Five Flights (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), Wet (Summer Play Festival), and Marry Harry (New York Musical Theatre Festival, American Theater Group). Mr. Nicholson’s regional credits include Once, Amadeus, and The Light in the Piazza (South Coast Repertory), How to Write a New Book for the Bible (South Coast Repertory, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre), CUBAMOR (Village Theatre), Lizzie (Theatre Under The Stars, Village Theatre), Grey Gardens, Vincent in Brixton, Ambition Facing West, and All My Sons (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley), Saint Ex (Weston Playhouse), 9 Circles, The Good German, and Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Marin Theatre Company), and Small Tragedy and Satellites (Aurora Theatre Company). He created the New Works Initiative at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley and the Uncharted writers group at Ars Nova, and he has served on the boards of the Playwrights Foundation and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. Mr. Nicholson currently serves as the Director of Musical Theater at Playwrights Horizons in New York.