Theatre Mirror Reviews -"Broadway Christmas"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


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entire contents copyright 2011 by Tony Annicone

"Broadway Christmas"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The holiday show at MMAS this year is "Broadway Christmas".The production is a revue style show featuring popular holiday music taken from films, Broadway musicals and radio classics all home-baked in MMAS' own unique and fun stage show. New musical numbers and surprises with a completely new set design greet the audience as they enter the show. This musical treat will thrill the whole family. Director Jennifer Mischley and band director Rob Goldman have assembled a stellar cast for this production. The cast of "Broadway Christmas" features Jen and Kevin Mischley, Brian and Laura Gustafson, Atia DeRosa, Liz Parsons, Tim Crepeau, Sarah Barlow, John, Livvy and Addy Marcus, Pam Sheiber,Jay Silvi, Michaela Murphy Kathleen Comber, Timothy Vernon and Amanda Crimmins. Jennifer and Rob chose 30 musical numbers both upbeat and poignant ones, blending them into a superb mixture which wins them a thunderous standing ovation at curtain call.

The beautiful holiday set is by Mike Duarte and Glenn Fournier. Songs include holiday favorites including "White Christmas" sung emotionally by Libby with the cast joining in, "O Holy Night" sung by Ken Butler whose tenor voice soars up to a high G sending chills up your spine. There are some new and contemporary songs like "Cherry, Cherry Christmas" and "You Make It Feel Like Christmas sung by jay Silvi while imitating Neil Diamond with dancing girls backing him up, "Mama's Latkes", a tear jerker type of number by Pam as she reminisces about making them with her mother, "Sleigh Ride" sung by Kevin,Jen, Atia, Jay, 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. Brian and Laura have a touching song from "Scrooge,the Musical" called "Happiness" as they try to steal a few romantic moments together. Their baby Olivia makes her debut in this show. Brian's voice soars off the charts in "World's Greatest Dad" from the Broadway show Elf where he searches for his father.

The show opens with a terrific chorus of "A Christmas Carol" from "Scrooge, the musical" with terrific four part harmony. It also has a pumped up live band with Rob on the piano, Scott on the drums and a bass player. Kathleen's solo is "12 Steps of Christmas", wins many laughs about her shrink, nicotine patch and finding serenity, courage and the wisdom. She also does "We Need a Little Christmas" with Laura while they decorate Amanda. Jen's solo is a tear jerker called "Home on Christmas Day". Timothy Vernon's tenor voice soars in "Believe" from Polar Express and it tugs at your heartstrings. John does a comic number with Pam and his daughters called "Hanukkah Blessings" and also leads the chorus in the rousing "Thank You Very Much". Kevin plays the piano and sings "Santa, Bring My Baby Back to Me" in a perfect Elvis voice and in the second act he does "All I Want for Christmas" a touching balled.Tim does a comic turn in "Be a Santa" where he is dressed as the jolly Old Elf with Pam and Michaela singing to him while tap dancing. Tim also has a poignant ballad called "Christmas Gifts" about life and love being the best gifts of all. Other highlights include "Hard Candy Christmas" by Pam, Sarah, Kathleen and Michaela and Sarah singing "The Christmas Song". Atia shows off her voice in "Santa Baby" as well as her dancing skills,too with three men with Santa hats. Statuesque brunette Liz does a comic duet "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Ken. Atia dances with Pam, Jen and Michaela in "Turkey Lurkey Time". Livvy and Addy sing the comic "There Really Is a Santa" and the touching "Some Thing's are Meant to Be" from "Little Women" while pretty brunette 16 year Amanda sings a gorgeous scat style song called "Where Are You Christmas" and also does a duet with Tim called "I See the Light". So for a fun filled evening of Christmas music to liven up your holiday season, be sure to catch "Broadway Christmas" at MMAS. Tell them Tony sent you.

"Broadway Christmas" (2 - 18 December)
@ Blackbox Theater, 277 North Main Street, MANSFIELD MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide