Theatre Mirror Reviews - A "Broadway Christmas"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2004 by Tony Annicone

"A Broadway Christmas"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The holiday show at MMAS this year is "A Broadway Christmas", a delightful 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. Jennifer Mischley directs the show with music direction by Ron Procopio.They chose 25 numbers both upbeat and poignant ones blending them together with a perfect mixture which wins them a resounding ovation at curtain call from a very appreciative audience.

This sold out show has 19 performers who sing and dance up a storm all night long. Kevin and Jen Mischley, Brian and Laura Gustafson, Atia DeRosa, Jeff Mahoney, Kelly Warriner, Ken Butler, Joshua Kenny, Michaela Murphy, Jeremy Hawkins, John Marcus, Liz Parsons, Sarah Barlow, Brendan and Delaney Lynch, Heidi Gleichauf, Amanda Crimmins and Libby Kafka who also stage manages the show. 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 performers as guests at this party with a Yankee gift swap for the audience. The show opens with Kevin playing and singing a jazz version of Jingle Bells on the onstage piano. Everyone gets their moment to shine in this show.

Songs include holiday favorites like "Silver Bells" sung emotionally by Libby with the cast joining in on the chorus, "Silent Night" sung beautifully by 15 year old blond haired Brendan who accompanies himself on the guitar with his 12 year old sister, Delaney and Amanda and Heidi, he also stops the show with his excellent rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Someday at Christmas" a sentimental number about peace on earth and "O Holy Night" which is a solo by Ken Butler whose tenor voice soars up to a high G sending chills up your spine. There are also some new contemporary humorous songs like "Reindeer Boogie" by Jeff and 5 dancing girls and "Sleigh Ride" with Kevin, Jen, Atia, Brian and Laura on a hazardous ride down a hill running people out of the way with Kevin's crazy driving skills, and the group number "Fruitcake" sung by the women and Josh and Jeremy are a riot as they sing "Ugly Sweater" to Libby. Both of these guys are superb dancers, too. Brian and Laura have a funny song in the second act from "I Love My Wife" called "Lovers on Christmas Eve" try to steal a few romantic moments before their bundle of joy, baby Olivia is born on March 8. Congrats to the parents-to-be.

All songs have a Broadway twist and pumped up live band with Ron on piano, his son,RJ on bass and his other son, Buddy on drums with Jason Nicastro as guest drummer on opening night. Michaela's solo about the "12 Steps of Christmas" opens the second act winning uproarious laughter about her shrink, nicotine patch and finding serenity, courage and wisdom and her song and dance number, "Let Yourself Go" with Atia, Jeremy and Josh is dynamite near the opening of the show. Jen's duet with Kevin "My Cup Runneth Over" tugs at your heartstrings as does Jeremy's solo "Christmas Gifts" from "It's A Wonderful Life". John does a comic number as a naughty Santa sings "We Need a Little Christmas" and Jeff dressed as Elvis with a lit up white jumpsuit is hilarious while singing "Reindeer Boogie" in a perfect Elvis voice. Other highlights include Sarah singing "Surabaya Santa" with a funny German accent, berating Santa for leaving her alone every Christmas as his neglected wife. Atia also shows off her dancing skills in a fan dance with Jen to "Sisters" from "White Christmas". Kelly sings a fantastic ballad called "Christmas Eve" about presents from mother and dad. Statuesque brunette Liz Parsons does a comic duet "Baby It's Cold Outside with Ken. Atia dazzles with "I Wanna Be a Rockette" number with Jen and Michaela. Beautiful blonde Delaney performs "That Man Over There" about John being dressed as Santa and pretty brunette Amanda who is fifteen years old sings a gorgeous scat style song called "Where Are You Christmas?" while she and Heidi, a 14 year old statuesque blonde sing a touching ballad "Something's Are Meant to Be" from "Little Women". So for a fun filled evening of Christmas music to liven up your holiday season, be sure to catch "Broadway Christmas" at MMAS.

"Broadway Christmas" (9 - 19 December)
MMASS BLACKBOX THEATER,
@ 277 North Main Street, MANSFIELD MA
1 (508)339-2822

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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