Reviewer: Gari Davies
It’s December, the Christmas tree has just gone up, mince pies have been made, presents bought and hastily wrapped, and finally, the time comes when you can relax and start to enjoy the festive season. For many families, this can come in the form of a panto (oh yes it can!), though for those who the very idea of such a production strikes fear in to their very hearts, a fantastic, more adult orientated, option is to take in a festive concert, such as the splendid Christmas In New York.
The casting of this concert has been much heralded, with Broadway leading lady Eden Espinosa, along with a selection of the West End’s finest (Tori Allen-Martin, Lucy May Barker, Zoe Rainey, Scott Garnham, Luke Kempner and Andy Coxon). For any musical theatre fan (and especially those of us in the regions) this is a present so good that it should really be wrapped up and kept under the tree! (thanks to Speckulation Entertainment once again!)
The show is split in to two, roughly forty-five minute acts. Fortunately, there is no gimmicky staging to be seen, no shaky story and no attempt to force festivity on the audience. What Christmas In New York brings to the stage is a well structured concert performance, superbly showcasing the vocal abilities of the stars of the show, the musical talents of the band under the musical direction of Joe Louis Robinson, and elegant, simple staging, which really compliments the delivery of the performances.
For many people they will most likely be more acquainted with the songs in the second half the performance, and there is also a little more ‘personality’ to be had in the general compere of the show, but don’t be turned off by any of the lesser known songs towards the start of the concert – give them a chance and you will quickly warm to them, as the audience did this evening.
Dare it be said, but a Christmas Tree and/or a light smattering of festive decoration wouldn’t perhaps go amiss, just to keep the atmosphere festive, however, when the audience are invited to sing along to ‘Silent Night’ by Eden Espinosa, only the most Scrooge-like of humbugs will fail to feel that lovely sense of unity and togetherness that Christmas in New York and indeed holiday season brings.