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Your Happy Holiday

a Holiday Show
by Musical Arrangements by Amanda Wansa Morgan

COMPANY : Atlanta Lyric Theatre
VENUE : Jennie T. Anderson Theatre-Cobb Civic Center [WEBSITE]
ID# 5414

SHOWING : December 20, 2018 - December 23, 2018



A dazzling musical event that’s sure to become your new favorite holiday tradition!

Featuring rich performances by your favorite Lyric stars, with sparkling dance numbers by a beautiful, energetic ensemble, luxurious costumes, and a live band that will kick your holiday off just right!

Will your favorite holiday tune be on the playlist? You’ll have to come to find out.

Director Mary Nye Bennett
Cast Kandice Arrington
Cast Sterling Baker-McClarey
Cast Alison Brannon
Cast Quentin Avery Brown
Cast Jessica DeMaria
Cast Logan Denninghoff
Cast Kayce Grogan-Wallace
Cast Jenna Jackson
Cast Imani Joseph
Cast Jamie Wood Katz
Cast J. Koby Parker
Cast Chase Peacock
Cast Becky Simmons
Cast Lauren Tatum
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


A Leaking Canteen
by playgoer
Sunday, December 23, 2018
First act: Irving Berlin-era holiday songs and Christmas carols. Second act: more contemporary Christmas songs. Dialogue? Maybe one line. The rest is all music and singing and dancing. It’s all professionally done, but it’s the theatre equivalent of listening to an hour and a half of an all-Christmas radio station.

Mary Nye Bennett has directed the production, which seems to have been pretty much restricted to deciding which numbers have dancing and which don’t. The cast is divided among singers and dancers, with Matthew Peddie’s dim lighting design spotlighting the current solo singer. Stephanie Polhemus’ scenic design consists of Christmas trees left and right with an upstage platform in front of a backdrop of snow and trees. Wide steps lead up to the platform, with the piano stage right of them and the rest of the band to the left of them. Dancing takes over the floor of the stage and occasionally the platform and/or steps. The only scene changes are rolling on of a drink cart and, for act two, huge ornaments descended from the flies.

The costumes by Billie Nye-Muller are done in holiday colors, but tend to have simple lines. They’re fine, but not impressive. George Deavours’ wigs share that same characteristic. Ricardo Aponte’s choreography is better, given that he has a stable of professional dancers at his disposal, but it’s not particularly inspired. A tap number is particularly heavy-footed.

The musical arrangements are by Amanda Wansa Morgan, and they’re the main problem with this production. Musical accompaniment is hardly imaginative, and numbers tend to have a constant thumping rhythm. Attempts to mimic well-known arrangements succeed as imitation being the highest form of flattery, but give the proceedings a been-there, done-that flavor. There are no standout performances, although arrangements that feature Chase Peacock on guitar somehow seem more interesting than the others.

Aurora Theatre has been doing its "Christmas Canteen" for decades, mixing a small cast size with singing, dancing, patter, and skits, not all of which relate directly to the holiday season. Atlanta Lyric has taken the same choreographer and targeted his skills toward a Christmas song recital that contains a small fraction of the entertainment value of "Christmas Canteen." "Your Happy Holiday" pales in comparison. It’s all-singing, all-dancing entertainment that breaks no new ground. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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