|Justin Stahl, Lobby|
|Angela and Ben|
|Anthony Kniffen & Grinch|
|Ben and cast decked out in Christmas bling|
|Christmas Eve Radio Highlights|
The traditional tap dancing kick line of Santa's brought down the curtain for intermission. The second half opened with "The Enchanted Toy Shoppe" a feature which I believe was new at last season's concert. Angela began by telling the story of a toy maker and how one magical night his toys came to life. She also sang the beginning of "Once Upon a December" from Anastasia (Liz Callaway was a host last year and the singing voice of Anastasia in the movie, which may have influenced the song choice, but it fit in well). The fairy waved her wand to a slow version of the "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" theme bringing the toys to life. Included in the toys were a music box dancer and doll, who danced, en pointe even, to something by Tchaikovsky from "Swan Lake" I think. By magic a juggler (Cirque de la Symphonie artist Vova Tsarkov) stepped out of building blocks that were stacked together before our eyes. I liked the following rag doll segment the best of the Cirque acts.
|Check out that Statue of Liberty style tiara! |
(Angela photo from her facebook page)
Presumably while they cleared the Toy Shoppe props away behind the curtain, Angela took the front of the stage and performed "My Simple Christmas Wish". Apparently this is a popular cabaret act song, but I was unfamiliar with it. Some lyrics were changed to be family friendly and a new line about not being Oprah so don't look under your seat (a joke about Oprah giving gifts away to audience members) shot by so fast it took a second to process, but once people got it, there were giggles.
Not to be outdone, the curtain opened on a now empty stage and Ben walked out to sing "Believe" from The Polar Express. The most popular version is likely with Josh Groban, but I much preferred Ben's. Groban's seems heavy to me, but Ben had hope and a bit more lightness, not to mention his wonderful voice.
|Zach and Jack|
Not that the audience needed any waking up after that, but the ensemble got their own lively number with "All I Want for Christmas is You". The highlighted voices weren't all my taste, but the guys shoes sure stood out...red with white inserts sure fit the Christmas bling criteria.
Slowing things down Angela and Ben combined forces for "The Prayer" with Ben taking the Italian part of the duet and creating a beautiful deep sound. Their voices and talents were highlighted the best here.
|Full cast in "The First Noel"|
Thank you to all the friendly people I met (and especially to one I still haven't), the performers and everyone behind the scenes who work together to create such a wonderful show. My mission was accomplished, Christmas spirit attained and should anyone be in the need for some I highly recommend this method of acquisition! Because it's really true that...
(All photos except where noted from the Indianapolis Symphony, some via The Examiner and The Star.)