By Jennifer Steele Christensen,
Cache Valley Daily
Published: Monday, November 28, 2016

The Utah Theatre welcomes humorist and historian James Arrington to the stage December 9-10 in what Arrington calls “a great opening for the Christmas Season.”

Showcasing select characters from Arrington’s hilarious and locally-beloved Farley Family, the production promises an evening of comedy, music, and fun, including the presentation of a vintage Laurel and Hardy silent film with musical accompaniment by Mike Ohman on the theatre’s new Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.

“One way or another, there will also be audience participation and singing,” Arrington said. “I just think it’s gonna be way fun.”

Michael Ballam, founder of the Utah Festival Opera and owner of the Utah Theatre, is thrilled to host Arrington and Ohman. The event will both serve as the retirement of the Farley Family and the debut of the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.

“I’m so glad we’re bringing the Farley Family Christmas show here,” said Ballam. “James Arrington is one of Utah’s treasures. He’s one of the funniest Utahns who ever lived, and he has such a wonderful following.”

Arrington originally created the Farley Family at the Cache Valley home of John and Norda Emmett, with the help of their niece, Allison Hickman Warner. After December 10, Arrington will retire the Farley Family for at least three years as he and his wife, Colleen, serve a 23-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nashville, TN.

“Because the characters in this crazy family were born in Logan,” said Ballam, “it’s appropriate that their finale takes place here.”

Arrington speaks of the characters he portrays with fondness.

“The Farleys are a fabulous, fantastical, freakily-funny family. The show relates to people because they see their parents in the Farleys, or perhaps their aunts and uncles or their neighbors. They never think it’s them…but in reality, it usually is!”

The Farley Family Mighty Wurlitzer Extravaganza is Arrington’s final performance before he and his wife depart for their mission in February 2017, and he looks forward to sharing the stage with Ohman.

“Mike Ohman is a funny and talented guy, and I’m excited for the introduction of the new organ. And while I’m just doing about 40 minutes of what I call ‘the concert version,’ the Farley Family Christmas is a wonderful, sweet, loving satire of human behavior at Christmas. Our guests will definitely get their money’s worth.”

The Utah Theatre is located at 18 W. Center in Logan. Both showings of the Farley Family Mighty Wurlitzer Extravaganza begin at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are priced at $15 for adults and $8 for youth under age 18. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at
www.theutahtheatre.org, by phone at (435) 750-0300, or in person at the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre box office, located in the Dansante Building at 59 S. 100 W. in Logan. Tickets will also be available at the door prior to each show.