***** Highly Recommended ***** It’s hard to believe, but this is the Towle Theatre’s 13th annual production of Fabulous 50’s Christmas! The show, a tribute to the old Perry Como and Andy Williams TV specials, is always delightful. Amazingly enough, there’s a couple of new (to me, at least) old carols. I love “A Fabulous 50’s Christmas”, a 4 BIG Spotlight holiday must-see!
“A Fabulous 50’s Christmas”, a nice blend of traditional and more contemporary (written before 1960 contemporary) carols, is divided into sets of songs interspersed with clever re-creations of commercials from the time featuring products like Betty Crocker cake mixes, Old Spice, Vel, Halo Shampoo and Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum.
This year’s cast – Stephen Hobe, Adam King, Courtney Lucien, Paul Michael Thomson, Peyton Tinder and Jesek West – are a wonderful blend as they sing together. Individually, each is a strong voice, too. Towle Musical Director Elizabeth Tuazon plays the piano accompaniment, with Roye Robley on percussion.
New carols (to me): “Christmas Auld Lang Syne”, “Angels in Seven” by Felix Mendelssohn, “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus” and an old Gene Autry song, “If It Doesn’t Snow on Christmas”. Then there are non-carols which fit right into the seasonal theme, “My Favorite Things”, “Peace in the Valley” and “Toyland”.
As always, “A Fabulous 50’s Christmas” closes with a Valerie Webdel arrangement of “Little Drummer Boy/Do You Hear What I Hear?” done specifically for the Towle (the only song that’s been in all thirteen productions).
Kudos to Set Designer Kevin Bellamy for bringing a whole new look to the show. We still have the aluminum Christmas tree – seems like it was a requirement for the ‘modern’ 50’s – but the multi-level set adds versatility to the staging.
Next up: the Towle’s 2016 Season Preview, January 8th, 9th and 10th.
“Fabulous 50’s Christmas” runs through December 20th at the Towle Theater, 5205 Hohman Ave., Hammond. Performances are Friday at 8:00 pm; Saturday at 2:00 and 8:00; and Sunday at 2:00. Running time is just about 2 hours with an intermission. Tickets are $17. Good news for the Towle, bad news for you: some shows are sold out, so call quickly for your tickets. Parking is free. FYI (219) 937-8780 or www.towletheater.org.