Zionsville Times Sentinel

December 5, 2012

Ambiance, songs make Christmas show a success

By Andrea Cline
Staff Writer

— I’ve never seen a Beef & Boards Christmas show before but have heard great things.

I wasn’t sure I would like it because I tend to enjoy more plays than musicals. I wasn’t sure a holiday sing and dance show lumped into either category. To my surprise, the show is in a category of its own — an entertaining holiday show.

The Beef & Boards Christmas show really got me into the holiday spirit. Kudos, to Michael Layton and Ryan Koharchik for the excellent ambiance. The second the theatre doors opened, I was amazed with the decorations. There were three different Christmas trees, bright lights and colors, and a simple but spectacular stage that really made the band part of the production. The band is always hidden in the top corner of the building during other shows, and I liked how they were highlighted.

The band played very well together. They were in sync with the singers, were all on tune and looked like they were having a great time jamming together.

I also loved the color-themed costumes. Most people think of red and green together for Christmas, and I am glad Costume Designer Jill Kelly chose a more elegant route. The mixture of red and white, blue and white and purple and gold made the cast pop. Each outfit flattered each performer so well, it was hard to take your eyes off of them.

I’ve heard that the majority of the musical numbers are the same as other years and was told there were a few twists this year.

One of my favorite songs, Indiana Christmas, was added to this year’s list, and I couldn’t be happier. What better way to mix our home state and the holidays into one song? Jayson Elliott paid great homage to the number. The other singers in the number did a fantastic job with their harmonization.

Courtney M. Cleveland, a new singer to the Beef & Boards stage starred in a few numbers. You could tell by her stage presence that she loves to sing and has a lot of passion, but unfortunately, I didn’t see enough of that in her voice. I know she has the talent, but she fell flat for me. I wanted to hear her belt it out like recording artist Jennifer Hudson, something I know she can do very well.

I absolutely loved Ethan Halford Holder, 10, and eight-year-old Olivia McKenna. The duo played off of each other well and brought a whole new element to a family show, not to mention that they are adorable.

If you like good music and an entertaining cast, the Beef & Boards Christmas show is a must see. It is truly the perfect opportunity to enjoy the season with family and friends.

The show is live on stage now through Dec. 23. Tickets range from $37 to $60, and include Chef Odell Ward’s holiday dinner buffet. Call the box office at 872-9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays for reservations.

Andrea Cline is managing editor of the Time Sentinel.