Arts » Theater + Dance

Review: A Beef & Boards Christmas

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3.5 stars

A show with a lot of heart, belly laughs and fine singing and dancing. This 18th annual version of Beef & Boards' homegrown Christmas Extravaganza is a potpourri of holiday music. Presented as a classic TV variety show with the inimitable Eddie Curry as host, it's a race to the finish with his perfectly timed groaners. The versatile cast of 16 singers/dancers and six musicians delivers high energy, high kicks, enjoyable harmony and finely tuned character acting in 28 song and dance numbers, skits and stories.

Musical arrangements are equally fresh and exciting. Both Douglas E. Stark (director) and Terry Woods (musical director) have an eye and ear for making a song come alive with layers of nuance. Doug King adds pleasing choreography to the mix — making the most of a very small space. Expect a couple of show stopping numbers, particularly rollicking renditions of "All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" and "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer," and a campy "Night Before Christmas." On the poignant side, "Silent Night" and "Oh Holy Night" each touched beyond the usual renditions to bring us into another layer of the meaning of Christmas.

Through Dec. 23. Beef and Boards, 872-9664, www.beefandboards.com

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