Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, Indianapolis, ends its 40th year with the annual Christmas proffering, Kenny Shepard and Deb Wims cohost the traditional holiday production A Beef and Boards Christmas.
With a few changes in the regular cast, Beef & Boards Orchestra takes the stage throughout the entire production bringing them the attention well-deserved. “Winter Wonderland” and “Carol of the Bells” stand out as they are performed by the seven-piece orchestra, led by Kristy Templet. It would be simpler to say the orchestra was the narrator of the production, performing 30 numbers during the holiday show, never leaving the stage.
New this year is the best Santa Claus I have witnessed on the B&B ~ or any Indianapolis ~ stage. I like to go into these things without too much prior knowledge, in keeping with the rest of the audience. Once I took note of the stage presence and voice of this particular Kris Kringle, I looked up the performer's name.
Seriously, Angel is his last name and he is playing the angel of good children throughout the world. And doing it extremely well. His booming voice and bouncy nature draw the adults and children forward in their seats to catch every word he speaks. During intermission Santa captures the wonderland moment with children at a 'photo with Santa' area. When not donning red velvet and whiskers, Angel can also be found at TOTS, Footlite Musicals and other area stages. Hopefully he will return to this stage sans the Christmas gear in the Beef and Boards 2014 season schedule.
Well known carols are included again this year with notables including, "I'll Be Home for Christmas," reminding us that everyone isn't home this year.
Peter Scharbrough (Les Mis) is delightful mixing it up with The Grinch. Frosty dances across the brand-new setting, complete with a cozy home feeling, designed by Michael Layton.
Bottom Line: A Beef and Boards Christmas offers family friendly holiday fun, flying reindeer and an unbeatable Santa Claus.
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.