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A Taffeta Christmas

a Musical
by Rick Lewis

COMPANY : Georgia Ensemble Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Georgia Ensemble Theatre and Conservatory [WEBSITE]
ID# 4379

SHOWING : November 07, 2012 - November 18, 2012



"A Taffeta Christmas" played to sold-out houses ten years ago, and has been one of the most requested shows in recent years. Donna, Kaye, Peggy, and Cheryl return to their hometown for a Christmas performance of pop classics and newly discovered rock and roll holiday songs that will have you singing right along with this high energy 1950's girl harmony group.

Featuring Caleigh Allen, Galen Crawley, Laura Floyd, and Kara Harrington.

Director Ricardo Aponte
Donna Caleigh Allen
Cheryl Rebecca Galen Crawley
Kaye Laura Floyd
Peggy Kara Noel Harrington
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Daffy Taffeta
by playgoer
Monday, November 12, 2012
"A Taffeta Christmas" requires four females with excellent solo and ensemble singing voices, engaging personalities, and good stage presence. Georgia Ensemble Theatre's production is blessed with performers who have all this and more. They even bear enough of a resemblance to one another to pass as sisters.

Laura Floyd, one of three brunettes, boasts a beautiful singing voice and impressive instrumental skills (accordion, ukulele, and bass). Caleigh Allen, wigged as a redhead, gives her character, Donna, a kooky charm. Kara Noel Harrington, as the bespectacled Peggy, adds heart and humor. Galen Crowley, as Cheryl, pumps up the proceedings with a brassy verve. Together, they make beautiful music, backed by a terrific trio (Jeff Herndon on piano, Gary Land on bass, and Jonathan Vaughn on drums).

The book of the show is slight, highlighting the framework of a 1957 TV show in Muncie, Indiana with cheery interplay intended to inspire nostalgia for a simpler time. It works, but it's more serviceable than memorable. The songs are the backbone of the show.

The production values don't impress. Jonathan Rollins' scenic design seems to recycle a Christmas tree from "The Man Who Came to Dinner" and uses a generic snowflake motif. Joseph Monaghan's lighting design is a bit more impressive, with a pleasing arrangement of snowflakes on the stage curtain. Jason Polhemus's sound design muddies the vocals, and levels aren't always appropriate, allowing Galen Crowley's belt on "Secret Love" to reverberate at ear-hurting volume. Ms. Crowley also gets the short end of the stick with George Devours wig design, wearing the only 'do that screams "wig." Abby Parker's taffeta dresses and shrugs fit the bill, but don't "wow."

Director Ricardo Aponte stages the show effectively, which is not surprising, given his background as a choreographer, although the long microphone cables tend to be a bit overwhelming visually. He could use a surer hand in direction, though, since the personalities of the girls seem to have been left up to the actresses rather than shaped in a convincingly unified way. In any case, he has put together an entertaining show, with cute bits of audience interaction and a feel-good atmosphere that extends into the lobby after the show, as the Taffets sit at an autograph table greeting the audience. It's a hokey but fun touch, entirely in keeping with the overall mood of the show. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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