"A Beef & Boards Christmas

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre

Directed by Eddie Curry

Through Dec. 31

Beef & Boards’ 14th annual holiday show, A Beef & Boards Christmas, is a lovely way to get into the Christmas spirit. The musical revue has a few changes this year, but the all-singing, all-dancing show remains a joyful celebration of the holiday.

Deb Wims and Kenny Shepard are at the reins again this year as co-hosts. Santa (Timothy Jon), who appeared via “satellite” last year, makes personal appearances throughout, accompanied by his disturbing helper, Jingle the Elf (Jeff Stockberger).

The show is divided into themes, including “A Winter Wonderland,” “A City Christmas,” “A Swingin’ Christmas,” “A Jinglin’ Christmas,” “Home for the Holidays” and “Traditional Christmas,” with songs and short banter that pertain to each segment.

In “A City Christmas,” “Silver Bells” has cast members “ice skating” in a neat effect and “Holiday Shopping Spree” is cute, with a flurry of bags and panic shopping. While “Indianapolis Indeed” is a nice inclusion, perhaps a change in lyrics to replace Market Square Arena would be in order.

In “A Swingin’ Christmas,” Jingle takes the stage as Elfish Presley for “Frosty the Snowman” and Gerald Atkins, hands-down the most powerful singer on stage, gets his first solo in a soulful “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” “A Jinglin’ Christmas” sees Atkins’ second amazing solo piece, “Santa’s Back,” and we get to see Santa rap in “Santa’s on His Way.”

“Home for the Holidays” begins with a lovely “I’ll Be Home for the Holidays” by Kyle Durbin, but it was Atkins’ “O Holy Night” in “Traditional Christmas” that brought the audience spontaneously to its feet.

Santa and Jingle star in a video training montage that dragged a bit, and I could have done without some of the banter and bad jokes, but, A Beef & Boards Christmas, with its large cast, flowing costumes (Thom Hoffman) and lush lighting (Michael Layton … the smoke machine seemed to be in overdrive, however), really sets the mood for the holidays.

A Beef & Boards Christmas continues through Dec. 31. Tickets are $29 to $51 and include the show, buffet, tax and unlimited coffee and tea. New Year’s Eve tickets are $72-$80 per person and include dancing after the show, champagne at midnight and breakfast buffet. For reservations, call B&B, 9301 N. Michigan Road, at 317-872-9664 or go to www.beefandboards.com.



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