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Libby Whittemore Christmas-song wish list 

Beloved Atlanta performer Libby Whittemore brings her cabaret act – and loyal fan base – back to Actor's Express for Ho Ho Home for the Holidays and A Connie Sue Day Christmas from Dec. 6-21. For years Whittemore honed the show with longtime music director Robert Strickland at the now closed club Libby's, A Cabaret. A self-described "Christmas idiot," Whittemore sings secular holiday standards in the first act, and in the second half takes the stage as her high-haired alter ego Connie Sue Day, "the 31st Lady of Country Music." Here, she lists some of her essential Christmas songs from the show, in addition to "Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas."

1. "Christmas Time is Here": "In the first part of the show I talk about when I was little and my family traditions, so I sing this from the TV special 'A Charlie Brown Christmas.' Every time you bring up memories from childhood, it's funny. Every year I try to watch 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' and 'Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer,' and I definitely watch White Christmas."

2. "Santa Baby": "I don't like any of the Christmas novelty songs, like 'Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,' except for 'Santa Baby.' Eartha Kitt definitely put her own stamp on it. I'm not trying to do a better version than her, I'm just trying to do it justice. It's Eartha Kitt, for God's sake."

3. "Hard Candy Christmas": "It's from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and seems to be a crowd pleaser whenever Connie Sue does it. Connie Sue especially likes to do the song she wrote, 'Twelve Days of a White Trash Christmas.' Connie Sue's show is the same it's been for the past four years. I try to change it and people get upset. So Connie Sue will definitely be wearing her Mrs. Claus outfit."

4. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree": "The last Christmas show I did at the club was bittersweet because we had a lot of great audiences, including people who'd made reservations months in advance to be there. 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree' is the last song Connie Sue does, and people like to sing along with that one, especially that night."

5. "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)": "The arrangement Robert has done of 'The Christmas Song' has some key changes that make it hard to do, but it's not necessarily a hard song to sing. Honestly, when you've done this as long as I have, you figure out the ones that aren't hard to sing. When you're in your twenties, you want to show off the notes you can hit. At my age, you want to just figure out the ones you can do three nights a week."

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