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BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must

"You guys are going to get massive amounts of eye contact!" - Karen Mason on opening night.

BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must Holiday traditions are vastly important in life, especially once we reach adulthood, and must learn the delicate balance between making that which will be new and hanging on to that which must be memory. This year, many will be adopting a holiday tradition that will become what it is for others, one of the seasonal musts, since it began in 1985. That was the year that Karen Mason and Brian Lasser debuted the CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! Holiday concert - and though Mr. Lasser departed this plane some seven short years after he and his muse, Mason, started the tradition, Karen has continued with the Christmas concert, lo, these last twenty-nine years, keeping alive his memory and the many Merry Christmases that her fans, friends, and family have needed to make their days merry and bright.

BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must

Last night, CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! Returned to the New York stage after an imposed hiatus due to the global health crisis and Karen's touring schedule - an actor with a job is a beautiful thing, even if holiday traditions must occur in other cities because of it. When, sheathed in a shimmer of red sequins, Karen Mason first appeared in the spotlight last night, there was a collective sigh of both relief and happiness, there was a feeling of comfort, even safety, there was an overwhelming notion that one had come home. All this from a concert? Oh, yes: all this and more.

BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must

C!C!C! is more than just a holiday concert. In a city where many celebrate the Yuletide season without their Mama and their daddy, without being able to have a snuggle and a giggle with a sibling who is also a best friend, without the moment when one smells their Mam's banana bread as it rises in the oven and the scent rises in the air, the importance of logical family and December tradition can make or break a person's spirit. Whether it is the unmistakable sound of the Mason voice ringing out into the air with Christmas songs from Mame Dennis or Esther Smith or a Karen Mason guffaw that makes a person forget every drab and dreadful thing happening outside, C!C!C! is essential holiday nightclubbing. Deftly directed by Karen's longtime captain, Barry Kleinbort, this year's program covers, evenly, Christmas songs, Christmas carols, comedy numbers, heartstring tuggers, and standards that have absolutely nothing to do with the holiday season, but that keep the show from becoming TOO Christmasy. Who else but Mason and Kleinbort could so craftily conceive to slip in some Ethel Waters ("Taking a Chance on Love") and Billy Joel ("He's Got a Way About Him") in between the secular and the religious music of Christmas? Of course, in the hands of Mason's thirty-year longtime companion, Musical Director Christopher Denny, an entire program of religious compositions would feel like a contemporary pop concert - Denny and Mason could keep even an hour of Disney music from becoming twee. No, this holiday offering is one for the grown-ups.

BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must

One of the most interesting things about living in New York for a period of time long enough to have seen some of the C!C!C! concerts over the years has been the ability to watch how the shows change as Karen Mason changes... maybe by the decade, maybe according to the year in which we live. The 2021 C!C!C! show is one that is informed in the extreme by the life we all just lived, the one in which we are currently existing, surviving, perhaps even thriving. There is much talk during C!C!C! about gratitude, about the need to care for each other, about the importance of caring for oneself. To that end, even with bright renditions of "The Christmas Waltz" and "The Christmas Song" and a snazzy "Winter Wonderland Medley" (to say nothing of a "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" that is downright naughty, simply because of that inimitable Karen Mason phrasing), there is much about the heart in Christmas! Christmas! Christmas! - and that is where the true treat lies. Yes, it is a joy to hear the laugh, a treasure to enjoy the jingles, but when Karen and Chris do their mash-up of "Joy To The World" and Joni Mitchell's "River" there is a discernible change to the energy in the air, one that will leave people wishing to melt into the arms of a loved one (which they should do, so bring one along). Equally emotional and impressively intellectual is an "I'll Be Home For Christmas/Silent Night" medley that even plucked at the heartstrings of this rather well-documented atheist. It is during these heart-and-humanity-informed moments when the reminder comes like a bolt from the blue: This is a legendary talent. This is one of the greats. This is one of the storytelling originals, and we must all seize every moment we can with her, every opportunity there is to see her. Whether it's a Kander & Ebb show, a birthday celebration, or a holiday concert, every person who has an invested interest in the art of musical storytelling needs to grab that brass ring that is Karen Mason and go on the ride. The heart and the mind will be thankful for the emotions released and the memories stored, for a Karen Mason live performance is, truly, the best Christmas present ever.

CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! features the incredible talent of Bassist Tom Hubbard.


CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! Plays the Laurie Beechman Theatre at 7 pm December 18 and 19. For ticket reservations visit the West Bank Cafe website HERE.

THIS is the Karen Mason website.

Karen Mason has a new album out. LET THE MUSIC PLAY is on all streaming platforms and at the Karen Mason website and can be purchased in person at performances of CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS!

Karen Mason gets a five out of five microphones rating for performing her entire show without the use of a lyric sheet, tablet, or music stand.

BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must

BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must

BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must

BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must

BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must

BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must

BWW Review: Karen Mason CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Is A Holiday Must Photos by Stephen Mosher


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From This Author - Stephen Mosher