Laura Darrell of Yarmouth performs in “Magic of Christmas.” She first performed in the show at age 12 and then again at 17. Contributed / Portland Symphony Orchestra

Accomplished actress and singer Laura Darrell of Yarmouth is not only home for the holidays, but likely home for good.

Darrell, who’s performed in television and theater, decided to return to Yarmouth temporarily when the pandemic suddenly took hold of New York City in 2020. It turns out she may be here for the long run.

“As soon as I sniffed out that the city was closing down, I thought, I love New York, but I don’t know if I want to get stuck here. Maine has so much space and nature and beauty and more to offer,” Darrell said. “I still have a place in New York and I have gone back for work. I just really love the roots that I’ve started to plant in Maine again.”

Darrell reestablished those roots by singing soprano this month in the Portland Symphony Orchestra’s “Magic of Christmas,” where she’s performing a number of seasonal classics, including songs from “Polar Express” and “Frozen” and a piece celebrating Hanukkah. It’s the third time she’s performed in the Portland holiday classic.

She credits her mother’s love for old Hollywood movies and musicals for getting her into performing as a child.

A flyer for “Magic of Christmas” when Darrell performed as a 12-year-old. She is described as the “Charlotte Church of Maine.” Contributed / Laura Darrell

“One day she heard me singing along and asked me, ‘Do you think you want to do this?’ and I said yes,” Darrell said. “Then I got involved with Portland Players and Maine State Music Theatre. I was hooked.”


Darrell performed throughout her school years. She went to Yarmouth Public Schools until eighth grade and graduated from North Yarmouth Academy. She attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for two years and then transferred to the University of Southern California to get a taste of living and working in Los Angeles. Upon graduation, she made the move back to New York City for work and to be closer to family. She played Anna in an off-Broadway production of “Frozen.”

Since she’s returned to Yarmouth, where her parents also live, Darrell has taken on a number of roles, including spending a day shooting a film in Boston. While she’s not able to divulge many details, she said she “worked opposite an A-list celebrity.”

It’s her third time performing in “Magic of Christmas, first singing in it at age 12 and again at 17. Now, she’s back on stage for the 42nd annual show.

“I watched ‘Magic of Christmas’ last year when it was just streaming because of COVID, and it brought back so many fond memories for me,” she said. “Next thing I know, I received an email asking me if I would be interested in performing with the symphony this year. I didn’t even blink before saying yes.”

Portland Press Herald arts critic Steve Feeney described Darrell as a “perky treat” in his review of the show in the Portland Press Herald, which noted she offered a “stirring take” on a song she performed from “Frozen.”

Portland Symphony Orchestra Director of Artistic Operations Eva Tartaglia said Darrell “embodied the spirit of Magic, combining high-quality artistry with festive Maine fun.”


The final performance of “Magic of Christmas” was Dec. 17, but it is available for viewing until Jan. 1 at While the show had its last performance Dec. 17, it is available to view online until Jan. 1.

Darrell described the show as “an energetic exchange that seems to be really healing” in light of the holiday season being impacted by the pandemic last year. She said the response to the show has been nothing but positive. Many of the musicians Darrell worked with on the show this year also performed with her when she was a preteen.

If she is asked to perform in the show again, she’d be “more than happy to come back,” she said.

“I see myself having a base here for the foreseeable future,” Darrell said. “I still have a foothold in New York City, but I am a proud Mainer. Maine will be a part of my life in a major way.”

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