Wednesday, December 9

Theater Review: Beef and Boards: Christmas 2009

Certainly a holiday show is enjoyable. A tradition looked forward to annually.
However, every once in awhile, the lull of the known is rocked by the unknown and changed forever. You are left with a feeling of disquiet, as if you had been cheated all of this time by not knowing what else was out there.

Such was the moment when opera performer, Chris Dickerson (La Boheme’, Carmen, Il Travatore) took the stage at Beef and Boards, 9301 N. Michigan Road, for the Christmas 2009 show.
The first act’s proffering was as traditional as turkey, stuffing and songs of little towns in Bethlehem. Then, somewhere in the second half of the performance, a changing of the guard took place. An upswing...

A deeply-timbered revolution.

At the helm of this holiday mutiny stood a man, approximately six foot six inches of "I won’t be silenced." Dickerson, whether having an obviously enjoyable time with You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch, or joining in on Sleigh Ride, and Mistletoe and Holly, brought a presence which could not be overlooked or dampened by mere mortals.
Towering above the other members of the cast, Dickerson belted out his solo, Oh Holy Night, basking in the admiration of the audience, which showed its appreciation via howling, yes, I said howling, cheering, foot stamping, and, dare I say it, catcalls? The audience wanted more, much more.

The show could -- and should -- have ended there. The standing ovation due the man was quashed due to the starting too soon, anticlimactic Joy to the World which followed as the finale. There was simply no earthly reason to not allow Dickerson, and the audience, to finish the show basking in that magnificent glass-of-cognac-while-sitting-by-the-fireplace voice.

Resplendent in his self-confidence and adoration of the ‘his-now’ audience, I can recommend only one thing. See him perform while he is in town, because chances are dismally slim he will have room in an already busy schedule to return next year. Talent of this quality rises to the top and travels to much bigger cities rather quickly.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.
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