‘A Christmas to Remember’ is the perfect dose of needed cheer in this trying year, and is just in time for the holidays.
After eight months of the stage being dark, I would have been satisfied with a La Comedia musical production of ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians.’ (Who would Chris Kramer play?) Thankfully ‘A Christmas to Remember’ is much better and serves the perfect dose of needed cheer in this trying year, and is just in time for the holidays. Other than the ‘Tiger King’ there’s been little to enjoy about 2020, which is only more reason to treat yourself to seeing ‘A Christmas to Remember.’ You deserve it. Chris Kramer as Joe Exotic in a Tiger King Musical? Hmmmm.
A true global pandemic, Covid-19 has even taken the Christmas spirit out of Santa Claus (Kramer) who feels like just canceling the whole holiday. It’s up to the elves, chiefly Edgar (David Thomas), to save Christmas by cheering Santa up with a stage show. While the entire ensemble shines, ‘A Christmas to Remember’ revolves around the highly entertaining and immensely talented Thomas. After starring in ‘Elf’ last year and now as Edgar, he’s earned the nickname Mr. Christmas. His skills are a gift that gives all year round.
Thomas really does pour a lot of himself into the role with numerous quick costume changes and physicality. He sets the pace as the emcee of the show within the show, and never lets up. There’s no greater example of the energy Thomas expels than during Santa’s reading of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.’ With a wide collection of props and ingenuity, Thomas acts out every detail of the story at a rapid pace. It’s hilariously brilliant and in itself is worth the price of admission.
There is however much more to enjoy as the entire ensemble displays their vast range of talent both vocally and in dance. Plus there’s always magic in KramLand (Kramer and Karie-Lee Sutherland on stage together). Sutherland plays Mrs. Claus and is especially angelic during the Nativity portion of the show. Another stand-out moment is a moving rendition of ‘This is My Wish’ lead by the beautiful Mallory Georgia Marie, who dazzles with both her voice and violin. The song is about wishing for peace around the world, and during a time of such turbulence, it seemed especially calming.
Alex Cottle, Colin Cranstoun, and Dylan Turner along with Thomas perform a fun rhythmic performance of a Village People medley of carols. It’s just one of the shows examples of originality. The women, including Hannah Brown and Jennifer Barnaba, raise the heat with a steamy rendition of ‘Santa Baby.’ My glasses would have steamed up, but they already were from wearing my mask.
The show concludes by capturing the true spirit of the season with the Nativity. It’s visually moving, along with hymns that touch your heart like ‘Away in a Manger’, ‘What Child is This?’, and ‘Joy to the World.’ All before the traditional singing of ‘O Holy Night’ by Kramer, which is an annual highlight for me. Not even Covid-19 can cancel that pleasure.
‘A Christmas to Remember’ is worth seeing and puts you in the holiday spirit, in addition, is a chance to see musical theatre again. How many times can you watch ‘Hamilton’ on Disney Plus? The purchase of a ticket though is also a show of support for a locally owned family business that’s entertained the Miami Valley for over 40 years and aspires to for many more. However, like with all businesses, Covid-19 has created some challenges but nothing that can’t be overcome with help from their loyal fan base. Big measures are taken to ensure your safety while visiting La Comedia. Social distancing is enforced and its asked that facial coverings be worn, except for when eating, including during the performance. The food from the buffet is served cafeteria style by an employee, and they will pile your plate as high as you’ll like. I checked to make sure, just for you all. 'A Christmas to Remember' continues through December 30.