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BWW Review: HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS at Broadway Palm

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Running through Dec. 25.

BWW Review: HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS at Broadway Palm

Broadway Palm's seasonal production, Holly Jolly Christmas, hits all the Christmas cliches. I don't mean that as a criticism. Cliches are cliches for a reason. They are familiar, and we relate to them. And that's what holidays are all about.

First, we meet Santa, Victor Legarreta, and Mrs. Claus, Bonner Church, as they are about to ride their sleigh around the world. (Santa apparently spent some time in the Catskills. His lines are full of puns followed by rim shots.) This segment ends with a Coke commercial moment where the world comes together in harmony. If only it were this easy to achieve.

Then we root for a businessman struggling to get home for Christmas. Of course, he gets there in time to tuck his children in as they await Santa's arrival.

The second act begins with a USO revival that evolves from the 1940s to the 1950s with Andrew Scoggins, Eli van Zanten and Santa as a hilarious trio of Elvises with some of the ladies in the ensemble singing backup and swooning along to "Blue Christmas."

And no Christmas show would be complete without including a nativity. Jong Sang Rheu leads the pageant in with a pure-toned and moving rendition of "Mary Did You Know?" and Mia Henley brings the message home in an angelic "Silent Night."

This show was originally done here in 2007, written by Ty Stover and J. R. Alexander. Amy McCleary created the chorography for that show. For this one, she also directed the large cast.

If there is a fan club for Amy McCleary, will someone please sign me up? A revue like this calls for a variety of dance styles, and McCleary never disappoints. She gives us a bit of hula and Irish jig, tap dancing toys, and a stage full of reindeer, shuffling off to Buffalo.

Kudos also to costume designer Mary Atkinson. She fills the stage with festive variations on red and green.

Holly Jolly Christmas runs through December 25. If you are looking for wholesome entertainment, round up those near and dear to you and bring them to Broadway Palm. For tickets, call 239.278.4422.


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