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Home for the Holidays
a Holiday Musical
CATEGORY : COMEDY MUSICAL
by Robert Egizio and Chuck Welcome; Musical Arrangements by Linda Uzelac

COMPANY : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
ID# 1787

SHOWING : November 24, 2006 - December 17, 2006

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Stage Doorís Christmas card to our audience, now in itís third year! Join Joe and Mary, Chris and Ivy, and Mom and Dad, as they once again recall their favorite Christmas memories while unexpectedly stranded on Christmas Eve. The new Holiday tradition returns with new music and dialogue, great renditions of your favorite holiday tunes, and a few surprises.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Robert Egizio
Musical Director/Conductor Linda Uzelac
Sound Design Dan Bauman
Production/Stage Manager Courtney Loner
Lighting Design Tristan Ludden
Scenic Design Chuck Welcome
Ivy Aimee Ariel
Joe Michael Austin
Dad George Deavours
Chris Andy Meeks
Mom Cathe Hall Payne
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Stage Door's Seasonal Gift
by Bacchus
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
5.0
Stage Door's "Home for the Holidays" is a living, breathing Hallmark Christmas Card.
This is not a show with subtle complexities or rich textures. It doesn't need to be. Instead, it is a bright, carefree (and sometimes corny) ode to family, togetherness and holiday joy. Here the human condition is not explored, but it is celebrated.
The tale is simple and is constructed around a family joining together on Christmas Eve, reminiscing in song about their favorite holiday memories.
The set design by Chuck Welcome is very impressive and well executed. So is the direction by the team of Robert Egizio and Linda Uzelac, who are bar none in Atlanta's community theater circle. In-town professional theaters should take note.
Egizio and Uzelac have collected an all-star ensemble. There isn't a week link in the bunch. My favorites are Cathe Hall Payne, Andy Meeks, Liz Birmingham and Michael Austin. I hope to see more of Meeks, Birmingham and Austin as all three are wildly talented young performers who all share a bright future. But the true standout performance is provided by Cathe Hall Payne, who easily steals the show as the Mom. With a dozen "Christmas Carols" being presented in the city, Payne easily gives the best all-around performance this holiday season.
If Stage Door's "Home for the Holidays" doesn't get you in the holiday spirit, nothing will.
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My ears hurt after that show, why so nasaly and fake?
by mypoorears
Saturday, December 9, 2006
2.0
I thought that the play had great actors. They all did a good job. But there were flaws of course.

Birmingham played to the audience and made eye contact as though she was in a middle school production. A presentational performance, like an actor from Elizabethan England. Also her voice is so nasaly and sharp/flat. I could hardly sit through it without wincing and grimacing. Maybe the majority of these actors were never trained to sing classically...it sure seems she was not. Ariel has a very nice voice, but had trouble staying on key,as did Birmingham. It ruined her beautiful solo when she went from clear notes to a grating obnoxious sound throwing her off key. Whatever happened to round vowels ladies? I thought that Joe had a fantastic voice and that the Mom and Dad had great chemistry. However, the horrible singing by the two young ladies nearly killed me. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Charming Holiday Fun
by Ju_Ju_Bee
Sunday, December 3, 2006
4.0
Stage Door's annual Christmas show is back and better than ever. The delightful cast sing their way through the holiday while sharing a family Christmas. Robert Egizio has created a wonderful ensemble and allows his cast to shine with all their glorious talent. Linda Uzelac is, as usual, astounding in her musical abilities and receives dynamite assistance from keyboard player Todd Fleeman. Cathe Hall Payne is adorable as lovable mom and through her humorous ad-libs and fun songs, she charms the audience. George Deavours plays opposite her as sweet Dad and also shows off his acting and vocal abilities. Andy Meeks and Liz Birmingham both excel in their roles, but the show is easily stolen by the stunningly talented Aimee Ariel. As Ivy, a young woman who has lost her faith, she charms the audience through light numbers such as 'Sisters' and 'Baby, It's Cold Outside', but her true vocal talents show during her solo, 'Oh Holy Night'. Egizio could not have found a more wonderful singer and the audience was amazed at her talent both as an actor and musician.
The one flaw to this otherwise great show is Michael Austin, as Joe. Although he sports an impressive resumee, Austin's abilities just don't stand up to those of his castmates. His lack of energy takes away from many of the group numbers and although he proves his voacl abilities during his solos, during group numbers (and his spoken lines) his voice cannot be heard. Although he playes opposite the adorable Liz Birmingham, their relationship feels somewhat cold due to Austin's restraint. Rather than elation at seeing the couple reunited for Christmas, the audience is let down when Austin's lack of enthusiasm sucks all the life from the scene. Hopefully he will recognize his shortcomings and give his character a bit more life during the rest of the show's run.
Overall, the show is an excellent experience and will be a great part of any family's Christmas season. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Maybe... by super_tech
For those of us who know Michael Austin, you might not realize realize that he is a gorgeous tenor. He was called in 'last-minute' to sing a bass role. I had no problem hearing his spoken lines on opening night nor most of the musical numbers that were placed with in his vocal range. I think he supports an impressive resume for a reason, and is definitely no flaw to the production in any way...go see it again!

Personally, I think the only flawed performance in the show is given by Aimee Ariel. Although she can hit the notes in "O' Holy Night," she tries too hard for the 'church' feel and forsakes all technique. Her dipthongs make the number difficult to listen to. Her choreography and movement seem labored and uncoordinated.

I will agree with you on one point, my favorite part of the show is Cathy Hall-Payne! Her character is the most well developed of the entire show; she is so honest and heart-warming during 'My Grown up Christmas Wish.' I look forward to seeing Cathy and the rest of this cast on other stages around the city!!!
That's a shame... by th8rluvr
Birmingham and Austin can never match the chemistry of Kristie Krabe and Matt Carter, who performed the role in previous years. Those two were always so charming. Of course, I think they are a couple in real life, so that might have something to do with it.
Agreed by woahfred
I'm going to agree with super_tech here about Ariel's performance. I did not want to give her a "bad review" below, however, b/c my opinion is really based more on the fact that I don't particularly care for "churchy-sopranos" either. That, and she kept fidgeting with her costume throughout the show.
Thanks by aariel
I rarely reply to reviews on this site, but wanted to say that I appreciate your constructive, if contradictory, criticisms of my performance. I was professionally and classically trained for many years, but did throw part of it out for the moment of realistic acting required. Sorry, Walter ;-). I'll take a look at my dipthongs and fidgeting and see if there's merit in the, I'm sure, kindly meant, critcisms. Thanks for the honesty. I wish you all a great season and hope that, in the midst of my poor singing, you all enjoyed the message Robert and Linda worked so hard to achieve. -Aimee Ariel
Fierce Holiday Fun!!
by woahfred
Sunday, December 3, 2006
4.0
Stage Door Players puts on an extremely fun evening filled with holiday cheer in their latest production of HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS! This was my first time seeing the show, even though it's being staged for the third consecutive year. Artistic Director Robert Egizio runs one of the most professional and polished theatres in town, and this production lives up to their established reputation.

Chuck Welcome's set was exquisite (as always). When you've secured a corporate sponsor that takes care of all costs for building your set, you've got it made. Other companies should really take a lesson from SDP and see what it is they're doing that works.

The insanely talented Linda Uzelac and Robert Egizio are at the helm of this musical, and they know what works for the talent they have. Each performer was well suited for their different abilities.

The highlight of the show was Cathe Hall Payne in the role of "Mom." She really knows a thing or two about comedy and in a show that had a lot of it, she shined above the rest. Her rendition of "Grown Up Christmas List" was very touching. She and George Devours (as "Dad") had a wonderful chemistry together on stage. Their duet of "Timeless to Me" was one of those moments where the audience just wanted to say: "Awwwww!" Speaking of George Devours, his solo number "Here's to My Mary" was delivered perfectly. He is always exceptional when it comes to really capturing the emotion of a song.

As the married couple, "Mary" and "Joe," Liz Birmingham and Michael Austin were an energetic breath of youthful energy throughout the show. Birmingham's first act number "Merry Christmas Darling" almost brought a tear to my eye. She was very real and honest in the execution of this song. Austin, for being a mere 18 years old, has one of the most amazing voices I've heard around town. His version of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" was gorgeous. His second act solo "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" was hilariously acted--who would've thought that number could've been done as an ode to needing therapy!

As the couple-you-wanna-see-get-together-in-the-end, "Chris" and "Ivy," Andy Meeks and Aimee Ariel were also a delight to watch. Meeks' "The Christmas Song" was one of my favorite songs of the show.

If you're looking for some great holiday fun, look no further than SDP's latest production. No heavy drama, nothing crazy, just good ole traditional holiday cheer. Kudos to SDP for another fine production!
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