On a Night Like This, an original work by Jennifer Nunley Graham, produced and directed by Lakewood Theater Company in historic Old Hickory, wowed the audience with its brilliant original musical numbers, also written by Graham. This musical impressed me very much as it successfully completed three missions all in the same play.

Set in the town of Old Hickory, On a Night Like This takes the viewer on an historic journey beginning in the year 1955 through the present day. And with an ensemble cast comprised mostly of children between the ages of six and 15, the audience was all smiles as the children delivered truly breathtaking performances.

Graham is a native of Old Hickory and utilized characters she knew as a child. This play is real in every sense of the word, including the characters’ names, as they reflect Graham’s cohorts as she grew up a Southern belle in this very real and wholesome town.

The musical is most definitely Christmas-themed, but I was surprised to find that it went much further than the average Christmas play. What it did was give not only give a magical history of the town of Old Hickory, but it also toured through the ages of the Vietnam war, the assassinations of beloved John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., while expressing the town’s commitment to remaining God-loving Christians in a town that has seen many hardships due to the state of America in those days.

And to broaden the story and take it to yet another moving level, Graham incorporated a love story into the musical between Johnny and Jill, who we watch grow from young children to adults. I must admit I got a little teary-eyes toward the end after we find out that Johnny, who had enlisted to go to Vietnam finally, and many years later, returned to be with his childhood love.

Unfortunately, On a Night Like This is sold out for its last remaining showings, but keep your eyes peeled for the musical in the future, because Graham is working on getting it noticed, and I would bet my bottom dollar that this is not the last we hear of On a Night Like This.

For more information on Lakewood Theater Company in Old Hickory call 615-847-0934, or simply stop in. The theater is located at 2211 Old Hickory Blvd.

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

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