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Holiday cheer-filled “Home for the Holidays” – Dio (review) November 26, 2016

Posted by ronannarbor in musical theater, Musicals.
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The Dio Theatre has a holiday-cheer filled reprise of its own “Home For the Holidays” in store for this season. It looks and sound terrific and everything zips along fast and efficiently. Only a Scrooge wouldn’t have fun at this Christmas delight. 

During a Christmas Eve performance, diva Portia (Molly Cunningham) refuses to go on stage when she finds husband Eric (Matthew Pecek) won’t be home from the Army for the Holidays. Forget the story, its just an excuse for some lovely holiday pop standards, Cunningham sounds remarkable on “Where Are You Christmas” and Pecek soars on “I’ll be Home for Christmas”.  The show resembles one of those old 60’s or 70’s tv-scripted holiday specials with just enough plot to lead to laughs, while firmly focusing on the holiday cheer and music.

The ensemble cast this year is tight, sings and moves well, and has fun making their way through 23 Christmas songs. In addition to those already mentioned, they include Jim Moll, Anne Bauman, Steve DeBruyne, Sarah Brown, Natalie Rose Sevick, Angela Dill, Elizabeth Jaffe, Jared Schneider, Derek Ridge, Brittany Chapa, Alexis Benson, Gavin Burwell, and Adam DeGregorio.

Director Steve DeBruyne has sped things up a bit, and designer Matthew Tomich added extra sparkle to the entire affair. Brian Rose and his orchestra sound great, and he has done excellent work with the show’s vocals. Michele Marzejon’s choreography looks great as do Norma Polk’s beautiful costumes and Eileen Obradovich’s props. The dinner is holiday-fare and deliciously prepared by Chef Jarod.

Sarah Brown, Natalie Rose Sevick, and Angela Dill do some terrific work as the “Franklin Sisters” — “Jing a Ling” and “Jingle Bells” have never sounded this terrific. Jared Schneider’s tap-infused “Here Comes Santa Claus” alone is worth the admission — but add a terrific dinner, a holiday-cheer filled show that is filled to the brim with Christmas spirit, and a little magic, and you have a delightful night at the theater again this holiday season.

Highly Recommended.

Home for the Holidays continues through December 31st. 177 E Main St, Pinckney, MI 48169 — Tickets: (517) 672-6009 or http://www.diotheatre.com