Debbie Allen's Story About Snatching Jenifer Lewis' Wig on the Set of Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square Is a Gift

November is speeding along, which means it’s time to dive into those feel-good (and endearingly predictable) Christmas movies!

Along with mastering everything else from acting, producing and choreographing, Debbie Allen is a director. (Check her long list of credits, y’all—she probably directed at least one of your favorite episodes of television.) Allen recently stepped into the director’s chair once again for the upcoming holiday musical, Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square—and unsurprisingly, she choreographed it, too!


Here’s what to look forward to in the film, per Netflix’s press release sent to The Root:

A rich and nasty woman, Regina Fuller, returns to her small hometown after her father’s death to evict everyone and sell the land to a mall developer - right before Christmas. However, after listening to stories of the local townsfolk, reconnecting with an old love, and accepting the guidance of an actual angel, Regina starts to have a change of heart. This is the story about family, love, and how a small town’s Christmas spirit can warm even the coldest of hearts. Starring Dolly Parton, Christine Baranski, Jenifer Lewis, Treat Williams, and directed and choreographed by three-time Emmy and Golden Globe winner Debbie Allen. Featuring 14 original songs with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton.


As a fellow creator, y’all know I’m about that behind-the-scenes scoop (BTS) life, and asking for Allen’s favorite BTS story from Christmas on the Square resulted in one of the funniest stories ever. Allen recalled the time she had to corral the wayward cast back onto the set and how she personally reined in the ringleader—Jenifer Lewis.

“Jenifer Lewis! We got a schedule, chile, we got to go like this,” Allen exclaimed, snapping her fingers to signal how quickly things needed to go with production. “She took the whole cast—it was a piano in a bar...I go over there and she has the entire cast singing! I’m like, ‘We don’t have time for this, Jenifer Lewis get outta here!’ We had words, I snatched her wig off of her head... it was so funny, oh my God!”

HAHA, fun times! As Cardi B would say, I need the “footages” of this!

Allen also talked about Parton walking the walk when it comes to Black Lives Matter, as well as the evolution of TikTok dance trends. Get into our full interview above!


Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square hits Netflix on Nov. 22.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.



I don’t know if I would fuck with Jenifer Lewis...scratch that...I KNOOOOOW I wouldn’t fuck with Jenifer Lewis.