What an incredible performance the audiences at the Milligan Theatre in Rye were treated to this past weekend.
The Magic of Christmas, presented by J & V Productions and The Hastings Stage Studio, combined an amazing array of terrific singing and dancing numbers in the most wonderful variety show in the lead up to Christmas.
As Friday night’s guest artist Liane Carroll, the acclaimed jazz singer, said over the microphone: “I’ve sat here in tears all night. Just incredible! This has been such a stunning show! The quality and the standard of talent and tuition and dedication and commitment and respect for the music and the dancing from every single one of these cast members...I’ve been blown away by it!”
Right from the openers Get Happy and My Best Friend, this was a joyous production, outlining a little boys’ wish list in the lead up to Christmas.
His desire for the James Bond movie collection led to an exciting rendition of Live & Let Die, complete with villains and Bond girls. From Pirates of the Caribbean to Newsies, from Charlie Brown to a jazzy Natalie Cole number on pointe shoes, each section featured strong vocals, challenging choreography, and polished acting of a professional standard. The second act was equally impressive, full of festive cheer and a huge variety of Christmas music in gorgeous harmonies of up to 10 parts at a time. Polar Express, groovy elves, a funky tap duet, a hilariously drunk rendition of Well, Did You Evah, and rich, lush harmonies on The Bells of Christmas kept the audience enthralled. The effort made on their spectacular costumes was dazzling throughout, and the grand finale of excerpts from White Christmas, complete with snow falling onstage and MGM-style 4-octave harmonies, wowed the audience with a truly magnificent ending.
Review by M Chapman