ANDERSON – Popular country duo Cook and Belle are going all out for the historic Paramount Theatre tonight. They take the stage there, along with several other performers, for the live filming of the Christmas special of their PBS show, “Cook and Belle’s Playhouse.” The WIPB show will air in December.
"I wanted to do a Christmas episode and get the Paramount involved," said Bret Cook. "They get all the money."
With tickets priced at just $5, Cook said he'd like to fill the house for the show. Every penny of the proceeds goes to the preservation and restoration of the Paramount Theatre. Executive director of the theater, Gayle Jones Burris, said the funds raised will be very welcome at the historic facility.
“It’s an 85-year-old building. It’s kind of like taking care of your favorite aunt. There’s always something going on,” said Burris. She said she'd like to see a large crowd, too.
Since tonight’s show will be filmed live, the audience is key to the event. Theatergoers can expect to hear plenty of Christmas music delivered in the fun, high-energy style Cook and his wife, Michelle Belle Cook, bring to the stage. Featured performers also include Seth Cook, Sarah Scharbrough and Danny Frazier. Twenty-year-old Seth Cook, Bret and Michelle’s son, was recently seen on the NBC show, “The Voice,” making the cut for blind auditions out of thousands vying for the coveted spots.
Tonight’s featured guest performers were featured on previous “Cook and Belle’s Playhouse” episodes. Carl Storie also appeared in the series' first season, which launched this summer.The Cook and Belle band will accompany tonight’s performers. The band includes another Cook son, Bradford, on drums. Also in the Cook and Belle band are Matt Ulrich, Andrew Camp and Cliff Kimmerling.After tonight’s filming, Cook and Belle will be preparing additional upcoming episodes for "Cook and Belle's Playhouse" with blues/rock artist Jenny Devoe, ex-Colts punter Hunter Smith, and rock pop musician and singer Frank Bradford. Cook and Belle anticipate a Christmas record ready by Dec. 20, the date of their annual Christmas show. Cook and Belle do about 60 shows a year, bringing a positive country twang to festivals and fairs in a number of states, as they travel from their Indiana home base in their tour bus.