Trisha Shepherd">

“Everybody was always smiling”

I have been sipping coffee this morning, trying to figure out how articulate exactly why the annual Christmas show at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre was so delightful.

My 9-year-old daughter, Clara, did it for me: “It was so happy and fun, and nothing was sad, and everybody was always smiling.”

Bingo.

This was exactly what I needed. Something light, joy-filled, festive, sparkly, musical, and happy, full of satin and sequins and Christmas songs and velvet voices.

I went with a girlfriend and our daughters, and we texted messages to friends back stage in the cast and orchestra as we enjoyed the turkey and roast beef buffet dinner.

I think I had a smile on my face from the first song until the curtain call.

Here were a few highlights:

-The charming and talented Deb Wims and Kenny Shepard floating across the stage together with their million-dollar smiles

-A mischievous Grinch popping up all over the house while Pete Scharbrough sang about what a “mean one” he was

-Rudolph with his glowing red nose flying over our heads

-A spot-on dance ensemble and uber-talented orchestra on stage

-Santa Claus as my all-time favorite entertainer, ELVIS!

-The quartet of vocalists (Bobbi Bates, Heather Patterson King, Pete Scharbrough and Matt Branic) locking in flawless harmonies and surprising us with about 100 festive costume changes

-A gorgeous, moving rendition of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” sung by a military uniform-clad Matt Branic (a very different look and sound from his Jean Valjean appearance last spring in the Civic Theatre’s “Les Miserables.”) It was great to hear his incomparable voice again!

-The show-stopping “Oh, Holy Night” by Kendra Lynn Lucas, whose impressive pipes brought all of us in the audience to our feet.

It was the perfect girls’ night out, and the perfect kick-off to the holiday season. Thanks, Beef & Boards friends, for a memorable night out!

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