By Zach Dunkin
For Deb Wims, coming home for the holidays means stepping onto the stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. After all, it’s what she’s done for 18 years as the co-host of the theatre’s original holiday production, “A Beef & Boards Christmas.”
“The Christmas show is my heart and soul at Beef & Boards. It is home to me,” Wims said. “The holidays aren’t complete unless I’m onstage with all my dear friends at The Beef.”
When the show opens Nov. 25 for a run through Dec. 23, she again will share hosting duties with longtime friend and fellow performer, Kenny Shepard, of Fishers, who has been a part of the show since 1994. Wims joined the cast in 1996.
“I was hired as one of the dancers,” the Indianapolis actress recalled. “I was thrilled. I hadn’t done a Christmas show in several years and, being crazy about Christmas, I couldn’t wait. It was right up my alley.”
Her attachment to the holiday classic makes this year’s production particularly bittersweet. She will be relocating out-of-state with her family next year, so these will be her last performances in the show.
“I will miss my friends, especially Kenny Shepard, the most. Sharing the stage with him year after year makes this show so special. He is so dear to me,” she said. “The combination of us together on the stage makes it magical.”
Shepard estimates that he and Wims have played in nearly 40 shows, including the Christmas production, in which they have played everything from romantic partners to rag dolls.
“There are triple threats, and then there are triple threats that people look forward to seeing again and again. That’s Deb,” Shepard said. “Plain and simple, she is the heart of Beef & Boards – especially the Christmas show.
“She is special. Her abundant heart comes out in every show and every role, and like me, the audience sees it. I’m just a little luckier, because I get a close-up view.”
For a complete schedule of dates and show times, visit beefandboards.com. For reservations, call 317-872-9664.