Review: ISO's Yuletide Celebration

Santa takes center stage in the 'Yuletide Spectacular.'

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra: Yuletide Celebration

Hilbert Circle Theatre, through Dec. 23

Full of sparkle and delightful surprises, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s 26th annual holiday concert is a community tradition that’s ever-evolving. Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway bring warmth and humor along with their impeccable singing and acting.

Of special note on opening night were Ann Hampton Callaway's tender "Mary, Did You Know?" and Liz Callaway's rendering of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" as a lovely ballad.

Maestro

Jack Everly’s arrangements were particularly fine, lending verve to "I Love a Violin" and selections from Elf: The Musical. His arrangement of "The Enchanted Toy Shoppe" showcased guest artists comprising Cirque de la Symphonie, including an aerialist, an illusionist and jugglers.

The ISO players delivered his arrangement of "Jesu, Joy of Man Desiring" with finesse, and vocalist Ben Crawford brought pathos to Everly’s arrangement of "Believe". Recurring favorite acts include the tap dancing Santas and "‘Twas the Night Before Christmas" with narration and puppets.

The rest is new, yet familiar, material, with a mix of our favorite holiday songs presented as company production numbers, solos, duets, and quartet harmony. The multitude of costumes glitter, the choreography zings and the company of singers and dancers are energized. It’s a fun time all around.

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