Holiday Shows

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Alix Cohen’s Soapbox

Holiday Shows

December 11, 2018

Alix Cohen

Let’s talk about holiday shows. Recently, I reviewed Steve Ross’ CD It’s Almost Christmas Eve (with SuEllen Estey, Benjamin Weil, and Ron Spivak) which I described as “a sure cure for endlessly looped holiday carols that make you want to run screaming from speaker‐laden interiors.” Ross and company assembled a lovely compendium of unexpected, often unfamiliar songs by bankable writers, adding in a few contemporary efforts. The fact that only the maestro’s inimitable piano accompanied also made the disc particularly genial.

Todd Murray’s live ’Tis the Season (with Kristoffer Lowe, Stacy Sullivan, and Sally Wilfert) featured childhood memories by each vocalist who then performed songs relating to his/her story. A few traditional numbers, like an a cappella “Carol of the Bells” (Mykola Leontovyc/ Peter J.

Whilhousky) showcased the group’s vocal range.

It was the personal aspect of this presentation that made it appealingly distinctive.

For God’s sake, take these examples to heart. If you’re going to mount a holiday show, use your imagination, find an angle. This holds true for any holiday around which you might build an evening.

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Valentine’s Day is around the corner. If you’re scheduling a show about love or its absence, think outside the box. The wealth of applicable material is endless. Delve into another era, another style. Let’s hear a different point of view. Take extra care with your patter, eschewing cliché.

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Your audience will grow and/or be grateful, and critics will attend more often.

Alix Cohen

Alix Cohen’s writing began with poetry, segued into lyrics then took a commercial detour. She now authors pieces about culture/the arts, including reviews and features. A diehard proponent of cabaret, she’s also a theater aficionado, a voting member of Drama Desk, The Drama League and of The NY Press Club in addition to MAC. Currently, Alix writes for Cabaret Scenes, Theater Pizzazz and Woman Around Town. Additional pieces have been published by The New York Post, The National Observer’s Playground Magazine, Pasadena Magazine and Times Square Chronicles. Alix is the recipient of six New York Press Club Awards.