Review: 'A Beef & Boards Christmas' 

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click to enlarge Beef & Boards brings back their annual Christmas showcase.
  • Beef & Boards brings back their annual Christmas showcase.

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre; dir. by Eddie Curry; through Dec. 23.

It's good to know that some things don't really change. After my two-year motherhood sabbatical, coming back to Beef & Boards' Christmas show was like spending an evening with an old friend.

Instead of themes and shtick, this variety show presents what it does best: solid vocals, elegant dancing (choreographed by Doug King) and exquisite costumes (Jill Kelly). The multitalented Kenny Shepard and Deb Wims continue their marathon hosting duties, sharing the stage with Jayson Elliott, Sarah Hund, John Vessels and Jillian Wallach.

The B&B orchestra is freed from their balcony box and are on-stage and interactive, and Santa is a regular feature of the show. Musical selections are diverse, from traditional carols to Alvin & the Chipmunks to dueling bluegrass Christmas tunes. The serious -- "I Pray on Christmas" -- shares equal time with the silly -- "All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan."

There are no showstoppers here, though, like Gerald Atkins' past performances of "O Holy Night," and I still miss the deviant Jingle the Elf. While the inclusion of child performers Ethan Halford Holder and Olivia McKenna is a good way to get youngsters to relate to the show, they don't add any pizzazz, instead slowing the pace down to a creep for their numbers. But A B&B Christmas does provide what it promises: mass quantities of comfort food mixed with Christmas spirit.

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