BWW Review: Carol-ing Along in CenterPoint Legacy's 5 CAROLS FOR CHRISTMAS
If the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has you down, take a couple hours to yourself and head to Centerville for this refreshing show! You'll forget all your troubles as you laugh the night away with five incredibly talented, and incredibly hilarious, women named Carol (and Cousin Ray!).
5 CAROLS FOR CHRISTMAS, (Book and Lyrics by Jim Christian, Music by Kenneth Plain) is a hysterical and heartwarming musical written by Utah's own Jim Christian, who also directed the show. It's the story of five women named Carol, living in the 1950s, who are known for hosting their town's exquisite annual Christmas pageant.
This particular year, though, a few things get a little mixed up and the five best friends have to think fast to make due! The array of follies and foibles lends itself to riotous laughter from the packed-house in the Leishman Performance Hall at CenterPoint Legacy Theatre.
Carol Ann, played by Stephanie Pugh, is the perfectionist of the group. She's all about appearances, but ironically is known for being the one lacking in traditional homemaking skills. This gossip is brought to light in the amusing number, "The Gal Can't Bake." Pugh, who originated the role of Carol Ann eight years ago, is divine as the overbearing Carol.
Queryl Pomerantz, played by Liz Corona, is the scandalous one of the bunch. With not just one, but two divorces under her belt (gasp!), "Miss Q" is the one who keeps things real. Corona's acting skills are top notch, and her voice is the gorgeous low alto in the group's tight harmonies.
Karil Kitteridge, or "Kitty," is played by Mickey Larson. Kitty is a bit high strung, but delights in her friends and feels terrible when she mixes up the costumes for she and Carol Ann. Larson's Judy Garland-esque voice lends itself perfectly to this time period. She almost seems to have time traveled straight from the 1950s, she's so believable in this role.
Car'l Noyes (Noyesy to her friends), is played by Kim Tolman. She's the Debbie Downer of the group-always finding something to complain about. But she loves her friends and is loyal to the end! Tolman has struck that perfect balance necessary to make the audience love her, in spite of her negative demeanor. She pairs her grumpy attitude with perfectly timed humor to the crowd's delight, and her vocals are just lovely.
Lindsea Garside is fabulous as Caroll Ling, or "Ling-Ling." Garside's performance as the overly proud, overly naive, and overly positive mother and wife is actually quite charming. Her vocals are fierce and beautiful, and her acting really pulls you into the show and makes you believe in her character.
All five women have absolutely captivating voices on their own, but when they come together in five-part harmony, which they do in almost every number of the show, they are unbelievable. Their harmonies are reminiscent of the Andrews Sisters' Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy-perfectly in sync and an absolute treat for the ear.
Not to be forgotten is Cousin Ray, played by Sean Bishop. He is the perfect complement to five very loud and proud women. He only has a few lines, but his presence is made known throughout the show in funny (and sometimes alarming) ways, such as his duet with Carol Ann, "Sissies," which had the audience in uproarious laughter.
Start a new tradition this holiday season-bring your friends and family out to see a Utah original that will leave you grinning from ear to ear.
5 CAROLS FOR CHRISTMAS is running through Saturday, December 22. For a complete list of show times and to purchase tickets, visit https://centerpointtheatre.tix.com/Schedule.aspx?OrgNum=3197 or call 801-298-1302.
Photo Credit: L-R Mickey Larson, Liz Corona, Stephanie Pugh, Lindsea Garside, Kim Tolman