Take Three: Two Reviews and a Preview
Barring some interruptions by the snowpocalypse, you can get out and enjoy several performances this weekend that are a bit different from the usual holiday fare. Here’s the lowdown on Sister Act, The Christmas List, and Nut ReMix.
Photo credit: Joan Marcus
I went to see Sister Act on its opening night at the Orpheum, and I recommend it. It’s smart and funny, it’s irreverent (ha), and the music is delightful. Call me a theatre plebeian, but let’s be honest, too many sappy solos a good musical does not make. Sister Act only a had a few, and they weren’t terribly boring.
The rest of the numbers were either a) characters in hilariously bad polyester suits performing satirical versions of 70s slow jams – one character was surely inspired by Ron Burgandy – or b) energetic, gospel-inspired songs with nuns in sequined habits and fun choreography.
Sister Act is at the Orpheum on Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and up.
I sat in on a dress rehearsal of Opera Memphis’ The Christmas List, which is an original opera. In the story, two children are worried that their Christmas wish list won’t reach Santa, so their toys come to life and make the treacherous journey to the North Pole to deliver it to the big man personally.
This show is going to be cute, and I think it’s very good way to introduce kids to opera since all the songs are familiar operatic tunes rewritten with English words, and there are a lot of kids in the cast. The grownups will appreciate the talent of the adult singers and have a few laughs. My favorite tongue-in-cheek lyric, sung by the kids’ grumpy nanny is “the one thing I hate most about Christmas is the music.”
The Christmas List is at the Clark Opera Center on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets are $5 for kids and $15 for adults.
Photo provided by New Ballet Ensemble
New Ballet Ensemble is doing their own version of the Nutcracker, and the show is set in Memphis on Beale Street. Instead of just ballet, the dancers also perform hip hop, African dance, Flamenco, and jazz. This is the tenth year they’ve done it, and it gets bigger and better every year.
Nut ReMix will be at Germantown Performing Arts Center on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 5:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets start at $15.