Theater Notes: Happy Holiday a hit
Opening night was such fun at The BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater. There’s something in the show for everyone in the family. I sat a few rows back of a little girl. I bet she was 6 years old, who just danced in her seat with almost every song. Incidentally, her folks only had to pay a bargain $5. The holiday revue has just about every one of your favorite songs, but runs only to the final performance New Years Eve, Jan. 31.
The whole evening is really a tribute to Bobby Logue, the artistic director. This marvelous guy who gives his all, can still sing and dance, the way he did as a Broadway Gypsy back in the day. And the first act is alive with choreography to accompany most of the holiday songs. What fun. They added so much to the joy to the 11 songs in Act 1. No one fell asleep as they rattled off: “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” “The Most Wonderful Time of the Years,” “I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” and “I’m Getting Nuttin’ For Christmas,” to name a few.
I want to give some credit to the production values that make all the programs at the BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater sparkle. I think you’ll be dazzled as I was by the giant back screen, that shows a familiar New England Village in incredible three dimensions, with street lights that dim or brighten depending on the song.Hats off to Adam Trummel, lighting director for adding so much.
Sound Director Christopher Bright and the Sound Engineer Jorge Corral made sure we heard every lyric. That back stage sprite, Debi Neri, kept it all together. No costumer was listed in the program, but, whoever was responsible didn’t miss a trick.
As the evening unfolded, it lent support to Logue’s choices for companions who delivered such delightful renditions in their solos, their duets, and numbers were all five were in harmony. Victor Legarreta, a familiar face at the Herb Strauss came through with top notch singing and dancing. Samantha Rotella was back and matched her marvelous performances from “Winter Wonderettes” days. I particularly loved her poignant solo with a song called “River.”
Two newcomers earned their stripes. You’ll hear more from them, I’m sure.
Tempestt Perrin, lithe and lovely, born to dance, touched the room with her poignant rendition of “Our Lives Will Show.” Juan Luis Espinal back from his Summer Hit, “Rhythm of The Night” enthralled the audience with his “Hallelujah” solo in Act 2.
While Act 1 was filled with bounce and liveliness, Act 2 had some serious songs, songs that need to be added, because in this season of feeling good, there are issues that we can’t pretend not to know about. I was touched by the total integrity of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” It made the evening just another vital reason why you should call the box office, (239) 472-6862, as fast as you can before the run of “Happy Holidays” closes out what has been a beautiful year at the BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater.