Theatre Mirror Reviews - "It's Christmas Time"

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note: entire contents copyright 2009 by Janine de Souza

A Christmas Feast

Reviewed by Janine de Souza

Christmas. It’s a time of family, friends, and feasting. Even those newly found holiday pounds seem oddly comforting. Now in its 28th year and counting, Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston serves up its piece de resistance, a gourmet “figgy pudding” if you will of its stunning production of IT’S CHIRSTMASTIME. Ah, but where to begin? IT’S CHRISTMASTIME is a ten course meal for your eyes and ears. So grab a fork and let’s dig in!

This production is conceived and directed by Robert Eagle and starts with a light appetizer of one of Broadway’s brightest stars, Sarah Pfisterer. Sarah shot to fame with her role on PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and shows her stuff with her buttery and expressive voice in the opening song, “The Most Wonderful Birthday of All.”
A simple flick of a candle signals a string of robed choir members down the aisles and onto the stage. The “Hallelujah Chorus” in all its majesty rings out into the audience against the backdrop of a gothic church.
We are suddenly transported to downtown New York City. Glen Michell’s “White Christmas”, along with a snow machine and the “Reagle Rockettes” usher in ample holiday cheer. Why bother going to the Wang Theater? Save yourself some shekels and the headache of downtown parking to see these gals. They are precise, beautiful, and leggy. Their costumes of various colors: white, green, and red, are head-to-toe vintage glamour.
From there, we visit the comfy chaos of Santa’s Workshop, my daughter’s absolute favorite. Witness kids as adorable “santas in training” who slide down a practice chimney and sing “Be a Santa” as they shake their tiny bellies like the “Big Guy” himself.
We are in the Boston Public Garden. The sound of Victorian carolers fill the air and you can almost hear the swish of hoop skirts as they glide on stage. Your eyes will devour and secretly covet an array of sumptuous velvet overcoats.
Teddy Bears bounce into place for the “Teddy Bear Nutcracker.” This version serves up all manner of bear to tell this traditional favorite. Russian, Chinese, and Egyptian bears, among others add new meaning to the term “warm and fuzzy.” Talk about a new take on an old classic and…no crummy rats!
Next up are a gaggle of sweet “Madelines,” bell ringers (a decidedly lost art), and my personal favorite…the dancing Christmas trees. Yes, it’s true! Twirling dancing trees light up the darkened stage, brilliantly decorated and without those pesky needles. Come to my house!
We are suddenly inside the inner workings of Yolanda’s Department Store in the delightful scene (from SHE LOVES ME) of “12 Days to Christmas.” Remember that job as a harried store clerk? Magnify that by 5,000 percent and you get a sense of the retail countdown before Christmas Eve. Enter Act Two and the big finale. Our journey ends with an exquisite recreation of the birth of Christ with all its pageantry and splendor.

Overall, IT’S CHRISTMASTIME is a dramatic Christmas feast. It’s spectacular and something that you will remember long after the holidays have ended. Even better… you won’t gain an ounce!

IT’S CHRISTMASTIME is currently playing until December 12.

"Christmas Time" (till 12 December)
@ 617 Lexington Street, WALTHAM MA
1 (781)891-5600

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide