Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Broadway Christmas"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2009 by Tony Annicone

"Broadway Christmas"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The holiday show at MMAS this year is "Broadway Christmas", a delightful musical review of holiday favorites with a Broadway twist. The show features many memorable songs from musicals like "White Christmas", "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" and "Little Women" This musical treat will thrill the whole family. The cast of "Broadway Christmas" features talented local singers including Jeff Mahoney and his lovely wife, Aimee Doherty, who have both appeared in many professional theatrical productions in Boston, as well as Jennifer and Kevin Mischley, Shannon Manley, Atia DeRosa-Gravely, Daniel Kozar, Jay Silvi, Ken Butler and Glenn Fournier. Special performance guests include the young and wonderfully talented Brendan Lynch, Livvy and Addy Marcus and the young at heart Libby Kafka. Jennifer Mischley also directs this show with music direction by Shannon, inventive choreography by Aimee and they chose 24 musical numbers both upbeat and poignant ones, blending them into a perfect mixture which wins them a thunderous standing ovation at curtain call.

This 90 minute show is one the whole family will cherish with a holiday set by Gary Poholek and Glenn Fournier. The show is a house party which has the performer as guests at it. The show opens with Kevin playing and singing a jazz version of "Jingle Bells" on the onstage piano. Everyone gets a chance to shine in this show. Songs include beloved holiday favorites such as "Silver Bells" sung emotionally by Libby with the cast joining in on the chorus "Silent Night" sung wonderfully by 14 year old blond haired Brendan who accompanies himself on guitar with Livvy and Addy and "O Holy Night" which is a solo by Ken Butler whose voice soars up to a high G sending chills up your spine plus new contemporary humorous songs like "Reindeer Boogie," by Jeff and 4 dancing girls and "Sleigh Ride" with Kevin, Jen, Atia, Jay and Aimee on a hazardous ride down a hill running people out of the way with Kevin's driving skills. All songs have a Broadway twist and pumped up live band with Mike Sartini on drums, David McGory on piano and Mark Fortunato on Bass. Jen's solo about the "12 Steps of Christmas" opens the second act, leading to uproarious laughter and her duet with Kevin, "My Cup Runneth Over" tugs at your heartstrings as does Glenn's solo "Christmas Gifts" from "It's a Wonderful Life.. Jay, Dan and Jeff do comic numbers with Jay imitating Neil Diamond on "You Make It Feel Like Christmas", Dan as a naughty Santa sings "We Need A Little Christmas" and Jeff dressed as Elvis with a lit up white jumpsuit that is hysterical sings Reindeer Boogie". Other highlights include Aimee singing "Surabaya Santa" with a funny German accent berating Santa for leaving her alone every Christmas as his neglected wife. She also shows off her dancing skills in a fan dance with Jen to "Sisters" from White Christmas. Shannon sings a fantastic ballad called "Christmas Eve" and does a comic duet "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Ken. Atia dazzles with "I Wanna Be a Rockette" number. "Something's Are Meant to Be" from "Little Women" is a touching ballad sung beautifully by Livvy and Addy. They also perform "That Man Over There" by Addy who is excited seeing Dan dressed as Santa and "Where Are You Christmas" about life and love is a gorgeous scat style song brilliantly executed by Livvy (Have these two young girls grown up having first seen them in "Annie" at the Orpheum back in 2003 where Livvy was Annie and Addy was one of the orphans.) So for a marvelous way to start your Christmas season be sure to catch "Broadway Christmas". It will definitely bring the grumpiest person into the holiday spirit. I am also celebrating my 100th review this year with this one! Happy Holidays one and all.

"Broadway Christmas" (18 - 20 December)
MMAS
377 North Main Street, MANSFIELD MA
1 (508)339-2822

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