A Beef & Boards Christmas 2013
With Thanksgiving survived, and a crazy Black Friday behind us – it’s time for the 21st annual A Beef & Boards Christmas! Mrs K and I took in the holiday spectacular last Saturday night and wow(!) do we even feel Christmassy now! The sold out crowd certainly seemed to enjoy it as much as we did.

Those of you who are familiar with this yearly gala celebration need to know that this newest edition is full of many changes from past shows. There are new arrangements, new dances, and many new features to please the eye and ear.

Co-hosts Deb Wims and Kenny Shepard

Co-hosts Deb Wims and Kenny Shepard

2013’s co-hosts, Kenny Shepard and Deb Wims, share the spotlight with soloist Kelly Teal Goyette and a special Christmas quartet made up of Bobbi Bates, Peter Scharbrough, Emily Rogge and Dominic Sheahan-Stahl. The excellent Beef & Boards orchestra, led by Kristy Templet, handles the musical assignments, Jeff Stockberger directs and Ron Morgan provides the excellent staging and choreography.

The Beef & Board Dancers join Deb Wims, Kelly Teal Goyette, and Kenny Shepard for the "Over the River" number

The Beef & Board Dancers join Deb Wims, Kelly Teal Goyette, and Kenny Shepard for the “Over the River” number

Joined by an awesome eight member dance troupe, this talented cast spins through an upbeat first act, highlighted by such Christmas standards as Feliz Navidad, Sleigh Ride, Over the River, Frosty the Snowman, and a Rudolph/Come Fly With Me suite that features a real flying reindeer!

Pete, Bobbi, Emily and Dominic form the quartet

Pete, Bobbi, Emily and Dominic form the quartet

After an intermission featuring photo ops with Santa, the second act gradually slows down thru a joyous Deck the Halls, into a lively bluesy section (with an Elvis appearance!) and on to more traditional scorings that feature I’ll Be Home For Christmas/White Christmas (including a very nice salute to military veterans), followed by my two favorite numbers in the show: Bobbi Bates’ beautiful solo rendition of Silent Night (in a lovely arrangement from Mannheim Steamroller) and Kelly Teal Goyette’s stirring spiritual styling of O Holy Night, made all the more wonderful by the soaring background vocals provided by a full cast chorus. Indeed, every single number in this show is well performed and a pleasure to the senses. As usual, Beef and Boards has put together an amazingly talented group, who each give their all in energetic and finely tuned performances. Congratulations to the entire gifted cast. And I must also say – Santa Claus was an Angel!
B&B Xmas collage
All of this wonderful entertainment is presented dressed in a cacophony of costumes in an absolute avalanche of colors. Through 33 musical numbers, I saw only one repeated costume set. The show is an astounding presentation of color and style, created by B&B’s outstanding costumer Jill Kelly, which added a great deal to our enjoyment of the show.

Oh, and we must not forget to mention the great holiday spread Chef Odell Ward has put together for the celebration. It featured Roast Turkey, Cornbread Stuffing and Gravy, Sweet Potatoes and Corn along with the customary Roast Beef, Salad Bar and Seafood selections. (Counting leftovers on the day after Thanksgiving, on Saturday night I had my third turkey and trimmings dinner in 3 days!)

The Beef & Boards Christmas Orchestra

The Beef & Boards Christmas Orchestra

If you like Christmas music, whether traditional or modern, this very enjoyable, truly remarkable event will make you smile and feel glad that it is the holiday season again. A Beef & Boards Christmas continues thru December 23rd with shows Tuesday thru Sunday evenings, and several weekday and weekend matinees. For the schedule and other information you can log onto http://www.beefandboards.com or call the box office (317-872-9664) between 10am and 7pm Tuesday thru Sunday, and 10am and 5pm on Mondays.

Marley's ghost (Eddie Curry) visits Scrooge (Jeff Stockberger) in B&B's "A Christmas Carol"

Marley’s ghost (Eddie Curry) visits Scrooge (Jeff Stockberger) in B&B’s “A Christmas Carol”

Finally, let me add a word or two about another Beef & Boards holiday tradition – the very special one-hour production of A Christmas Carol. This limited schedule production, which stars Jeff Stockberger as Ebenezer Scrooge, will be presented Dec. 9th thru the 20th on Monday, Tuesdays, and Fridays at 1pm and Monday evenings at 8pm. One again, go to http://www.beefandboards.com or call the B&B box office at 317-872-9664.

* – all photos provided by Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre