REVIEW: "Broadway Knights 9th Annual Christmas Concert"
Updated: Dec 30, 2020
A Genuine, Meaningful Christmas Celebration!
Last week, Broadway Knights presented their 9th Annual Christmas Concert through online streaming, and even though things are tight everywhere right now, and spirits are floundering in places, the beautiful faces and voices of this extraordinary group gave Orange County and the world just what they needed.
Among all the Christmas offerings in the region, this annual concert has a personality of its own – and quite an alluring one. With holiday songs, carols, and seasonal orchestral favorites, this inspiring concert reminds us that we can all give the gifts of Christmas throughout the year, and be angels of service to those in need.
Broadway Knights’ sell-out performances are renowned for upbeat and energetic performances by a close-knit group of performers from a variety of disciplines, and turning this usual live show into something to be watched at home, was a call rife with much reward. The cast is made up of some of the most talented, dazzling singers and dancers throughout Southern California, featuring headline performers as well as local rising stars and most-talented singers.
With individual segments self-recorded from their own homes or businesses, then edited and sprinkled with magic Christmas dust, the show was superbly produced by Rob Krueger, founder of Broadway Knights, and assistant produced by Amy Melendrez.
Opening the show was none other than the phenomenal Ruby Lewis (“Marilyn! the New Musical” - Paris, Las Vegas), who has become a featured performer on many of the galas and benefits over the last couple years. Also starring were Monika Peña (“Lizzy, The Musical”), Melinda Porto (“Saturday Night Fever”—Royal Caribbean Int.), Brooke Aston (5th National Tour—"All Shook Up"), William Crisp (“Man of La Mancha”), Melissa WolfKlain (“Pride & Prejudice”), Erica Marie Weisz (“Guys and Dolls”), Danielle Marie Brenes (Creative Parties for Kids), Paige Bittick-Petes (The Sylvia Cotton Singers), Tracey Thomas (“Mary Poppins”), Claire Marshall (“The Marvelous Wonderettes”), Martin Bonventre (“The Music Man”), Kimberly Moller (“If the Fates Allow”), Cody Ingram (“Legally Blonde, the Musical”), Rachel Chapman (Music Instructor, Musika Studio), Amber Duncan (Singer/Songwriter-Out Your League Entertainment), Rebecca Thomas (TV Movie: “Stage Managed”), Alexis C. Ritchey (“Smoky Mountain Opry”), Amy Melendrez (“Accidental Joy: A New Musical Workshop”).
Amy Perkins (“The Diary of Anne Frank”), Truly Bailey (“Spring Awakening”), Molly Dobbs (“A Chorus Line”), Emma Nossal (“A Chorus Line”), Courtney Cheatham (Disney Cast Member), Cassidy McCleary (“The Disney Princess Concert”), Carissa Fagan ("Dog Sees God”), Charlie Battaglia (“Jesus Christ Superstar”), Lau Miranda (“Green Day's American Idiot”), Hannah Marie Cameron (“Jukebox Time Machine”), Emily Curington (“Into The Woods”), Elizabeth Summerer (“The Full Monty”), Dillon Klena (“Newsies”), Giana Nguyen (Latest Single Recording— “Magic”), Caitlin Humphreys (“Beauty and The Beast— Nat’l Tour), Rachel Leif Fosnaugh (Pirates Dinner Adventure), Ella Wyatt (“You’re a Mean One, Courtney Finch”), Kimberly Anne Tiongco (“You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown”), Allan P. Cason (Opening Act for James Brown), Alana DeBlase (“LA Opera”), Meghan Pender (“Snow White”), and Isabella Davis (“Broadway Knights”).
Over the years, this 2-hour annual Christmas show has become a much anticipated media event throughout Southern California. Woven throughout the show is a lively mix of traditional carols, old Christmas favorites, and even brand new songs and arrangements. Selections included well-known Christmas favorites like, “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?” “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” and “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” to lesser-known holiday carols and ballads like, “Hallelujah,” “Count Your Blessings,” “Hard Candy Christmas,” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
This year's program powerfully reflects all of their remarkable talents and is completely different from years past, exuding the warmth and peace the season can bring. The end result is a beautiful event that will leave people feeling well-fed, imbued with a sense of awe and reverence, and enjoyed from the comforts of their own home, offering repeated reminders of the true, lasting gifts of Christmas, as well as the kind that can be wrapped with ribbons and put under a tree. They are all part of the delight of a genuine, meaningful Christmas celebration.
Thinking of making a donation to a charitable cause before the end of the year? If you’ve been blessed, this is a good time to do it, as the pandemic rages again. Under the CARES Act, as part of the federal government’s pandemic relief program that passed recently, individual taxpayers can take a deduction of up to $300 for cash donations made in 2020 when they file their itemized tax return in the spring.
While $300 may not seem like a large sum to donate, tax specialists say it can go a long way toward helping charities stretched thin by the demands of the pandemic. If nothing else, it’s a step in the right direction.
Can gift-giving make a significant impact? Well, in Kenya, 75 cents a day lifts a person above the poverty line. But can $300 make a meaningful difference here in America? I would say, unambiguously yes!
Choosing where to spend your money is, of course, a personal decision, but supporting community foundations, especially local performing-arts organizations which have been hit hard by the evaporation of ticket sales, is perhaps the most worthwhile philanthropy this year. And none better deserved than our own Broadway Knights OC.
Broadway Knights is proud to present this fun filled Christmas concert in an effort to raise funds for their production efforts and workshop programs for 2021. Normally, the group teams with various charities and other meaningful endeavors, such as Tara’s Chance, who has been the recipient for much of Broadway Knights fund-raising this year. But this time, the organization is looking to improve its own arts education programs internally.
Broadway Knights is a professional organization established in 2010 that specializes in producing the finest Broadway entertainment in Orange County. Broadway Knights partners with other companies, particularly nonprofit organizations, to present concerts and other special events, with the proceeds donated to charity. Broadway Knight's educational component focuses on offering Master Classes with top-name talent. The founders of Broadway Knights have worked with many of Broadway's most talented stars, including Laura Bell Bundy, Kerry Butler, Eden Espinosa, Megan Hilty, Norm Lewis, Laura Osnes, Adam Pascal Seth Rudetsky, Lea Michelle, and more.
You are invited to watch this Christmas celebration, the “Broadway Knights 9th Annual Christmas Concert,” available now free on Facebook at: https://fb.watch/2x9pVMfz1A/ Then, please consider making a gift before the end of the year! It is because of supporters like you that Broadway Knights is able to continue making these kinds of concerts and continuing their arts education programs, and is very much appreciated. Thank you!
Arts & Entertainment Reviewer
The Show Report