Thursday, December 10, 2009

review - A Rubicon Family Christmas

An evening of holiday music and frolic for the entire family at Ventura's Rubicon Theatre.
through December 27
There's an old adage that "the show must go on!" Saturday evening December 12 the sound board at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura got drenched from the downpour of rain that day and went out, causing the director Brian McDonald and cast of Family Christmas to do some pretty fast decision-making. Because of the intricacies of many of the arrangements of the musical selections, they decided to cancel the show, allowing audience to reschedule their tix for another performance...but to go on to perform a half dozen tunes as an enticement.

"Welcome to our living room!" began McDonald, and then the glowing 6 member cast performed practically a dozen songs, so the evening became extra special...and in theatre, as we all know, anything can happen. It's the unexpected that makes it all worthwhile. Gerry Sternbach at the piano as musical director - always a great choice! - accompanied beautifully diverse arrangements of "Winter Wonderland", "Christmas Time Is Here", "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and "The First Noel" in medley, "Oh, Holy Night", "Silent Night", joined by all the kids in the cast, "River", "A Place Called Home", "Joy to the World" and "Chanukah"/"Shine On". Teri Bibb, Dina Bennett, Joan Almedilla, Anthony Manough, Trey Ellett, and Brian Sutherland sans costumes gave it their all - unmiked, unplugged so-to-speak - enchanting the intimate audience. Set design by director McDonald is especially appealing, lending a sense of a chilling outdoors scenario with starry sky, wreathed lamp-posts, snow and overall winter zeal.
From this little 40 minute presentation, I can truthfully declare that this is terrifically jolly fare for the whole family! Highly recommended!

5 out of 5 stars


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