The Herald Bulletin

December 13, 2013

Cook and Belle's Christmas special at Paramount Theatre to air Saturday

By Kelly Dickey
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Christmas came early for Paramount Theatre during a holiday concert in October, and now people will get to see it.

Husband and wife duo Cook and Belle filmed a Christmas special at the historical venue, which will air at 8 p.m. and kick off the new season of their WIPB show.

The band filmed the concert in October as part of “Cook and Belle’s Playhouse.” They also recorded their first Christmas album, “Wonderful Christmastime,” that debuts Friday.

“It’s neat to do it and then get away from it and then go back as it’s coming together,” singer Bret Cook said. “You do it so fast you’re thinking, ‘Wow, how is this going to turn out?’”

Cook said filming the special was interesting for him and his wife, Michelle Belle Cook. Even though the band performed in front of a crowd, it took several hours to film the hour-long show.

“The folks at the filming were patient,” he said. “You film a song and then you stop, have to reset and get ready for the next one. It’s not really a fluid thing like a regular concert.”

Gayle Jones Burris, Paramount Theatre executive director, said more than 470 people attended the concert. Instead of charging Cook and Belle the usual $2,500 fee to use the venue, all of the money from admissions went to the theatre and they called it even.

The theatre and band have been wanting to join forces for years and finally found the perfect situation to pair up.

“That’s 473 people and maybe half of them are Cook and Belle fans who had never been to the Paramount before,” Jones Burris said. “That’s why we really appreciate them coming here. It exposes us to new people and you can’t put a price on that emotional attachment.”

The Christmas special will show Cook and Belle performing classic songs like “Silent Night,” “The Christmas Song” and “This Christmas.” Sarah Scharbrough, Danny Frazier and the couple’s son Seth Cook are also featured in the holiday show.

Within a week after the Christmas special airs, it will be uploaded to WIPB’s YouTube page, Bret Cook said.

Cook and Belle’s Christmas CD will be available on Friday. It can be ordered on the band’s website or purchased at a performance they have planned that day.

The pair will perform the tracks from its album that night at Muncie Central High School. Tickets are $5 and the audience is encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item to donate.

Like Kelly Dickey on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @KellyD_THB, or call 640-4805.