Pictured: Ensemble of A CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR. Photo by Larry F. Levenson.
By Marissa Carter
MTH Theater is known for producing shows that put music first, and A SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS SHOW is no exception. This cozy theater inside Crown Center offers a full bar, appetizer menu, comfortable seats (with cupholders), and a friendly atmosphere. It is the perfect venue to enjoy this celebration of Christmas music.
The music chosen for this production is a blend of traditional Christmas songs such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Silent Night,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” alongside other seasonally appropriate songs made famous on stage and screen, including “Seasons of Love” from RENT, “O Bless The Lord” from Godspell, and “Turkey Lurkey Time” from PROMISES, PROMISES. Many of the selections are newly arranged by Music Director Jeremy Watson, who also plays piano for the show.
This production is beautiful in its simplicity. Against a backdrop of Christmas decorations and several boxes painted to look like presents, nine singers take turns in the spotlight with challenging solos and well-blended harmonies. Santa’s Rock-N-Roll Band shares the stage and accompanies the singers with flawless timing. The costuming is simple and tasteful, which lends to the fun and relaxed atmosphere without drawing any attention away from the music itself.
Act one keeps the mood light with plenty of dancing and holiday messages. Although some of the walking transitions feel a little forced, the information given during the short spoken interludes is interesting, and the overall choreography for the show is fantastic. There are several dance numbers that make the audience cheer with excitement while making comments like, “Wow! How do they do that?” and “They have so much energy!”
Act two, which begins with an impressive piano solo, gives the cast more opportunities to showcase their vocal talents in a variety of styles. Though still well choreographed, the tone of the second act is set more toward music than dancing, especially when the lights dim for a truly reverent rendition of “O Come O Come Emmanuel.”
A SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS SHOW offers a little something for everyone and is a show that the whole family can enjoy.
A SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS SHOW runs through December 23rd. For more information visit mthkc.com.