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A Christmas Survival Guide

a Holiday Musical
CATEGORY : MUSICAL
by James Hindman, Ray Roderick

COMPANY : ART Station Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : ART Station Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 4658

SHOWING : December 04, 2014 - December 21, 2014

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Do you find the holidays more than a little stressful? This light hearted musical is just what you need! Filled with comedy, poignancy and traditional songs of the season, this show is designed to de-stress and refresh one and all with holiday cheer! This is a Christmas treat for everyone in the family.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director/Choreographer Karen Beyer
Music Director/Pianist Patrick Hutchinson
Keyboard Dik Holland
Cast Aretta Baumgartner
Cast Alana Cheshire
Cast George Deavours
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REVIEWS

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Not Merely Surviving
by playgoer
Monday, December 22, 2014
4.0
"A Christmas Survival Guide" mixes a number of Christmas standards and lesser-known holiday gems together under the loose heading of surviving the challenges of the holiday season. There’s no real book, just opening and closing voiceovers with occasional reminders of the topics being covered. It’s a pretty loose concept, leaving lots of latitude to the performers.

There are four performers, principally Aretta Baumgartner, Alana Cheshire, and George Deavours, with occasional vocal contributions from pianist Patrick Hutchinson. None of them have shake-the-rafters voices, but they’re all pleasant and true. Listening to them and the subdued musical accompaniment is an antidote to the overmiked holiday screamfests that plague too many theatres these days. They’re plainly understandable, but don’t hurt the ears.

Ms. Cheshire gets the lion’s share of the ballads. Hers is probably the best voice, and her blonde good looks and fetching frocks make her numbers a pleasure to see as well as hear. Mr. Deavours has some sweet-sounding solos too, and is a genial presence throughout. Ms. Baumgartner gets the best comic numbers, and her renditions of "Surabaya Santa" and "The Twelve Steps of Christmas" are priceless. She too looks terrific in the numerous costumes designed by Jeanne Fore.

The production, designed by Michael Hidalgo, has clean lines, with a tree-topped set of steps up center and a couple of revolving, movable panels. It’s subdued and elegant, with lights and costumes supplying lots of color and variety. Director Karen Beyer has devised choreography that keeps the action moving and never makes the actors appear to be anything other than graceful and talented. This may be a low-key delight, but it’s a holiday delight nevertheless. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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